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CM Becton Speaks to SE CPAC about his “Connecting Neighborhoods” Initiative

On March 27, 2017, at the Southeast Citizens Planning and Advisory Committee (CPAC) meeting, District 11 Council Member Danny Becton took time to share with members his “Connecting Neighborhoods” initiative. The objective of this initiative is to enhance the quality of life for residents within all communities of the District by connecting them with information that will enhance and enrich their lives and with city services that provide important and valuable resources. CM Becton discussed his efforts in developing a “Neighborhood Resource Kit”, a “District 11 Web Site”, and the “Tour of District 11” Video.

The “Neighborhood Resource Kit” is a FREE pocket folder that is given to area residents with brochures and flyers of various city departments and services that explain the benefits and valuable resources available. These pamphlets were compiled from many hours of interviews from various departments and city services that provide help and offer assistance in many different areas of expertise. CM Becton wanted to know, “Do the residents of District 11 know about these important services available to them?” In wanting to make sure that residents are aware, the “Neighborhood Resource Kit”, was developed. This kit is a District 11 exclusive and with limited space available within, the Kit was limited to only the pertinent and most relevant material to District 11 residents. Information within the kit includes departments and services including Parks & Recreation, Public Transportation (JTA), Library Services, Citizens Planning & Advisory Committee (CPAC), Sheriff’s Watch, Municipal Code Compliance, Senior Services and much, much more. Each kit includes a refrigerator magnet that includes important District 11 contact information and phone numbers that is a must have for area residents.

Also, discussed was the implementation of the neighborhood app, “Nextdoor” (www.nextdoor.com). This application for mobile smartphones and computers is becoming utilized more and more by neighborhood associations as a social media tool to help “get the word out” and to connect adjacent neighborhoods to one another. Monitored by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Department (JSO), crime and “be on the lookout” alerts can be communicated immediately. If you have a concern or want neighbors to be vigilant to an issue, JSO and everyone around you can immediately know what is happening through this app, Nextdoor.

 

The next component in CM Becton’s initiative is the biggest, the recently released District 11 website, www.dannybecton.org. In what may be the most comprehensive website ever created by a Jacksonville City Council Member, it is a one-stop location to find out about current District 11 news and developments. CM Becton has created a website that provides a repository of information on District Bills and City Ordinances whereby he stores all the background documents received on commercial and residential projects, maps, news articles and announcements that has not been available to the general public, like this before. Also, included are local transportation projects (FDOT) and bills of City Policy that CM Becton has highlighted as the most significant for constituents to be made aware of and the position for which your council representative has taken. It’s all out there, it’s all transparent for each and every voter to see. CM Becton wants information in the hands of residents of District 11 so that your voice and knowledge of local issues, projects and happenings can help make a difference in our city. This website, augments the broader, city-wide information that is provided on www.coj.net and is personally funded and managed by CM Becton himself along with community volunteers. Your help is needed in spreading the word on this District resource through family, friends, communities and neighborhoods to increase its reach, readership and impact to our area by sharing its existence.

The last part of CM Becton’s initiative was inspired by a request from the current Council President Lori Boyer for District Council members to make presentations to full council on their districts at a City Council meeting. Well February, 2017 was District 11’s turn and in true Becton fashion, this presentation was an opportunity to not only bring District 11 to City Hall but to have fun and inspire and present a presentation that would make everyone in District 11 proud of their community and provide a sense of place to residents as a result.

To accomplish this task, CM Becton acknowledged that he had some help and expressed some big “Thank You”, first to his daughter Ashlyn Becton, who is a Multi-Media Journalist for Channel 10, WALB TV in Albany Georgia. As you will see, Ashlyn helped him produce, write, edit and shoot the video they developed together. Many, many hours were spent working on this father / daughter project and as CM Becton thoroughly expressed his enjoyment working with his daughter, (she called it work) it turned out beyond his expectations, that this video would became an important part of his connecting neighborhoods initiative as a result! Also to be acknowledged was the input of resident Donna Herrin of Oxford Chase and Mary Andrew, CEO of JJVA for their contributions. They are great community leaders and friends and their involvement with this project was outstanding as well.

In conclusion of his presentation to CPAC members, CM Becton presented and played the “Tour of District 11” video for those in attendance. The video speaks to the district’s growth and prosperity as well as pointing to opportunities to solve transportation issues along with traffic problems and to areas of revitalization that some older neighborhoods are in need. The video introduces visitors to District 11 to its many neighborhoods, business parks, natural resources along with educational facilities, shopping and entertainment venues. This overview of what District 11 has to offer while reminding residents of the district’s desirability to businesses and homeowners alike makes it a perfect attraction to helping present CM Becton’s initiative, “Connecting Neighborhoods”.

CM Becton invites you to bookmark www.dannybecton.org and make it a regular part of your internet viewing. Again, please share this link with friends and family!