Norristown area community leaders have been spreading the word of a second community meeting planned for tonight, Sunday, Nov. 11 at 4 p.m. at the Greater Norristown PAL Center at 340 Harding Boulevard, next to Elmwood Park.
Norristown residents are invited to come and voice concerns at this grassroots meeting designed to "create a forum to communicate more effectively the needs of our municipality to our elected and paid officials, the ministerium and all of our 'leaders'; and to encourage residents to work together to keep our neighborhood an attractive and safe place to live," according to a Facebook post from community activist Paula Robinson.
The group has already had one successful meeting on Sunday, Oct. 28 at the Norristown Hose Company firehouse. There, residents, community leaders and several council members met to express their concerns and discuss possible solutions to many of Norristown's problems, especially the recent rash of violence.
Organizers have already identified the key issues they are interested in tackling and are keen to hear residents' ideas for possible solutions and actions the community can take on a grassroots level. Problems identified include:
- Lack of Respect
- Poor Parenting
- Police Community Relations
- Poor Community Relations with Elected Officials
- Lack of homeownership
- No jobs
- After school programs/activities
- Church/Community Relations
- Need more small businesses
- Lack of recreation programs/community centers
- Community not working together
- Holding elected officials accountable
October's meeting was considered a success by attendees. Community leaders discussed working more closely with the George Washington Carver Community Center to help develop more programing there. There is also an all-night basketball program being developed for the PAL center. The need for more positive role models to take an active role in the community was also discussed. Council members who attended expressed their interest in continuing the forum and the open lines of communication
Community activist Buck Jones, one of the organizers of the forum, made an impassioned plea for residents to become engaged in the community effort to deal with the violence that persists in Norristown.
"Please, if you are concerned citizen, PLEASE come and voice your concerns," Jones wrote in a Facebook post. "But also bring positive and productive solutions or suggestions."