Organizing a Block Club
- Find interested neighbors to meet in your home, backyard or local community center.
- Discuss problems and concerns
of the neighborhood. Find the most pressing problems and make a list.
- LITTER (in lots,
alleys and backyards, or along the curb line.)
- Proper RUBBISH and GARBAGE
- ABANDONED property and vehicles.
ENFORCEMENT and FIRE protection.
- RATS and roaming DOGS.
(plowing, paving, cleaning,, & potholes.)
VIOLATIONS (industrial noise, odors and pollution).
- GENERAL APPEARANCE
(parking, lighting, play space, traffic signs etc,.)
- Future BEAUTIFICATION projects.
a DATE for a MEETING.
- Invite EVERYONE on the block. Try to get
everyone out for the meeting.
- Make door to door visits.
- Telephone neighbors.
- Deliver a flier to each
house that explains what a Block Club or a Tenant Council is and inviting them to attend the meeting.
Forming Block Clubs: Do's and Dont's
There are many procedures
that must be followed when forming Block Clubs and Tenant Councils. There
also certain pitfalls that may be avoided that will help make forming either group a little easier for you. The
following outline should serve as a useful guide
- A Block Club /Tenant Council is a group of citizens who work together to improve the quality of life in their neighborhood.
Primarily, A Block Club/Tenant Council should be organized with bylaws to have a definite set of rules to help structure
the organization. Block Clubs.and Tenant Councils both are designed to bring neighbors together so they may get to
know each other and discuss topics of mutual concern, such as the happenings in the neighborhood.
OF MEETINGS - In order to maintain a friendly atmosphere and break down some of the social barriers which may exist
between neighbors, it is helpful to meet in a member's home or weather permitting, back yard. Tell everyone to bring
a chair! If that is not possible, a community center, church, or other public-oriented meeting area may be utilized.
Always have a sign in sheet with spaces for name, address and phone numbers on it. Tenant Counsels usually meet in an on-site
- FREQUENCY OF MEETINGS - Meetings should be scheduled on an as needed basis, in the
beginning stages, the organization may need to meet as often as every two weeks for the first few meetings. Once the
foundation has been set, members may want to meet monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly. The group may set new meeting standards
at any time that best meets their needs.
- HAVE FUN! - Block Parties,
block sales, impromptu cook-outs, fund raisers and celebrating National Night Out are all good ways of keeping the organization
fun and keeps the interest level high.
- MEETING AGENDA - Setting up a meeting
agenda is always helpful, even if the meetings are informal.
- Time Frame For Meetings
- Ideally, the time frame for a meeting should be kept to one hour leaving
time for refreshments afterward. Overall, the meeting should be kept to a maximum of 90 minutes. Anything
beyond this tends to lose the members' interest. If a discussion becomes particularly intense and is unresolved in the allotted
time, then a date for another meeting Should be set to further address the issue.
The chairperson or president should welcome everyone
and introduce the leaders, liaison officers, speakers, or any other guests attending the meeting. Afterward, the
speaker should be invited to stay for the remainder of the meeting (which allows for a tactful exit if desired).
it is a formal meeting, the minutes may be read and the treasurer's report given.
- It is always desirable to serve a beverage and a light snack after the meetings or to take a break after 45 minutes
for the refreshments. If the agenda is exceptionally full, you may want to serve the snack and beverage during
the meeting. Either way is perfectly acceptable as long as speakers are not interrupted by the hustle and bustle.
Block Club and Tenant Council Bylaws
An important Part of any Block Club or Tenant Council is a clear idea of
what the group is trying to do.
A simple set of rules can help members understand their potential, and
also, their limitations.
Bylaws are the rules which members oft he organization agree to follow
in carrying out the goals of the group.
WHY ARE BYLAWS NEEDED?
organization needs some rules to function smoothly and efficiently in working to realize its goals. A poorly organized
group will not be effective and will neither attract nor retain members.
WHO WRITES THE
- According to the size of the organization, usually a committee of three to seven people is designated
to prepare proposed bylaws OR UNITED NEICHBORHOODS WILL CREATE THEM TO FIT YOUR ORGANIZATION'S NEEDS. The committee
should arrange as many meetings as necessary (usually only one) to prepare a set of bylaws. It is important for bylaws to
be simple, brief and flexible. Too many restrictions built into bylaws will act as a straightjacket and discourage member
WHO ADOPTS THE BY-LAWS?
- When the proposed bylaws are completed,
they are brought back to the next general meeting of the group for review and approval. Members should have an opportunity
to comment on each article as well as the entire document Finally, the entire bylaws document, with appropriate
changes, is voted upon.
WHEN DO THE BYLAWS GO INTO EFFECT?
- Usually the bylaws
go into effect immediately upon adoption. Once the members of an organization have voted to adopt the bylaws, the group is
officially "in business" and is ready to work in an orderly fashion toward its chosen goals.
HAPPENS TO THE BYLAWS AFTER ADOPTION?
- Every member should have a copy of the bylaws, and part of one
meeting each year should be set aside to review them. Bylaws provide a method for change and continuity.
For Technical Assistance, Block Club organizing and Neighborhood
- Masten Block Club Coalition, Inc.
118 East Utica Street
Buffalo, New York
Phone (716) 885-9738
Fax (716) 885-9738
Louise Bonner, Program Director
Nettie Anderson, President
Services: Flyers and typing services for Masten District Block Clubs