A new year—and a new decade—brings plenty of fresh opportunities in an ever-changing place like Atlanta.
For some that means a new job, a new relationship, or even a new home. For others, it’s a chance for improving upon last year’s achievements by getting involved and giving back.
If you’re planning in 2020 to get more involved in your city and neighborhood, your involvement most certainly will be welcome.
However, doing so may take some research to find out exactly how and where you want to get started. With that in mind, we’ve put together some starting points to help you narrow your focus and point you down the path of action.
Talk with your POA or HOA board members
Whether in a high-rise condo or a local neighborhood, many Atlanta communities operate under the guidelines and covenants of a property owners or homeowners association.
Oftentimes, these associations are looking for volunteers to help on committees, coordinate neighborhood events, or even serve on the board.
When moving into your residence, you should have received information, including the relevant contacts, for your association. Reach out to your board members and talk with them about how you can serve.
You’ll likely find a whole new appreciation for where you live—and likeminded neighbors.
Check in with your Neighborhood Planning Unit
The City of Atlanta is broken down into 25 Neighborhood Planning Units, or NPUs.
These are citizen advisory councils that talk with neighbors about their wants and needs for their communities as they relate to zoning, land use, and other planning-related matters. They then make recommendations to the Atlanta mayor’s office and city council.
Given that NPU membership is open to anyone age 18 and older, you can join your local NPU to get plugged into what’s happening in and around your neighborhood and have an opportunity to voice your thoughts. Atlanta is an amalgam of proud neighborhoods, after all.
Check out the City of Atlanta’s website to locate and get in touch with your specific NPU.
Talk with your local councilmember
If you want a more direct line of communication with your local government, consider reaching out to your local City of Atlanta councilmember.
The City of Atlanta City Council is comprised of just 15 members and a city council president, so whittling the group down to identify yours isn’t too arduous.
To find your local city councilmember, enter your address on the City of Atlanta website—and voila! That will provide the name of your councilmember and a link to their City of Atlanta webpage and contact information.
In addition to talking with your local councilmember, Atlanta residents have the opportunity to address standing committees in person, regarding any piece of legislation.
The full Atlanta City Council meeting schedule is available online.
Take it to the state level
For involvement at the state level, you can find your elected official for the Georgia State Senate and the State House online, too.
You’ll be directed to your state senator or representative’s webpage, which includes contact information.
Remember: Don’t be afraid to make your voice heard by emailing, calling, or making an appointment to see your elected officials. It’s part of their job to listen, after all.