Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Plainfield Community Pride Is Our Responsibility

A community that believes in itself is able to rise and overcome challenges through the strength and support of its people. Without a strong sense of civic/community pride, Plainfield, we will always find ourselves dependent on others to take care of our needs. If we want cleaner, safer streets and neighborhoods...if we want support for our local businesses...if we want meaningful educational opportunities...if we want to lower crime...we need to have a strong sense of civic pride. We have the power to make these things happen and it is critical to do so if we are to successfully move our city ahead.

Taking pride in our community is essential for achieving the quality of life we all desire. It starts with little things like supporting our local businesses, being active members of community organizations, sweeping a sidewalk, beautifying a business, or taking part in crime prevention activities. If we all take responsibility and do our part, the end result will be an overall aesthetic and social improvement and increased self-sufficiency.

The people who are in charge of waste disposal come to our homes a few times per week to take away what we put out. They try to keep the common areas clean and they support clean-up efforts as much as possible. Ultimately, however, we are the ones who make the difference in our neighborhoods. If we all assumed responsibility for the areas immediately in front of, and adjacent to, our residences, we would begin to make a huge difference. We must feel a sense of pride about the area we live in. We can effect change for the better in our neighborhoods.

If we nurture civic pride and we take deliberate action to become civic activists, it will become contagious here in Plainfield. Our neighbors who see us displaying community pride will want to follow suit, adding to the momentum. If we keep our city clean and show pride in our neighborhoods and businesses, we will continue to attract new investment in our City. One small action can lead to a wave of change. Our property values will increase, crime will decrease, and our educational system will become better. We will create a community spirit for volunteerism and responsibility.

Neighbors, elected officials, religious organizations, and community groups can all play a role in fostering strong community pride. We must remember that often it is “doing the little things” that make a big difference. Perhaps most importantly, we must ensure that our children understand that pride in their community is critical to Plainfield's future vision. It is the future Plainfield that they will inherit.

We can display community pride in many ways; Individuals can take responsibility for the well-being of their neighbors as well as themselves. Maintain attractive and inviting homes and neighborhoods. Support local businesses. Support community events. Speak out against littering and vandalism, work to preserve the historic elements among us. Volunteer to help educate and nurture our students, and stand firm in the fight against crime.

A thriving downtown with attractive, inviting storefronts which reflect and preserve our historic architecture will attract investors and encourage new development. Our neighborhoods with attractive yards and well maintained homes exhibiting pride of ownership will send a positive message to potential home buyers. Well-maintained, clean streets instill a sense of pride, and every one of us taking responsibility for the education of our young people will support our village and raise conscious, civic-minded young people.

People taking responsibility to do "the little things" will make a difference in the present and future of our community. if we all took responsibility instead of waiting for someone else to do it for us, the change would be immediate and striking. At the end of the day, it's Our Plainfield! Let's own it, let's nurture it, let's clean it, and let's unify to take care of it and preserve it for our children and future generations to come.

Mayor Adrian O. Mapp 
City of Plainfield

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