Check Out Our Newsletter Archive of Back Issues of the Community Development E-Mail
Approximately monthly we send subscribers the Useful Community Development newsletter "Useful Community+," formerly called "Quick Notes." Some visitors have asked us to make our newsletter archive available, so below we give you the links. We also list the article titles or topics to help you find material of interest. Lately every newsletter gives you a convenient list of the pages that have been built during the previous month as well. If you want to subscribe yourself, you are certainly most welcome to do so. A form is found at the bottom of nearly every page of the website. We appreciate your interest in our newsletter archive. Below are links to the back issues, showing the highlights of each:
In June, 2019, the newly renamed newsletter, Useful Community Plus, focused on neighborhood nuisances and what we think should not be defined as a nuisance.
The May, 2019, newsletter featured an article about why you need community spaces and how to create them, as well as short updates on accessory dwelling units and environmental justice.
For April, 2019, the feature topic was a few "next steps" for neighborhood associations that are well-organized in typical neighborhood group functions, but need more sophisticated tools. Examples discussed included forming a co-operative, starting a community development corporation, and taking advantage of a market description tool for use in attracting business to your neighborhood.
The March, 2019, issue talks about how the nature of any housing affordability crisis depends on where you live. See also a short blurb on terrific-looking and interesting maps of various characteristics for U.S. counties, as well as a link to an Opportunity Zone update.
In February, 2019, the major topic was about reframing issues so that a message about your neighborhood or community development project is better received.
For January, 2019, we wrote about volunteer recruitment and retention, with brief notes about the rural brain-drain and its relationship to student debt, a CDC refocusing itself through a health lens, and the "too many bars" problem.
The December, 2018 issue of Quick Notes highlighted 2018 favorite articles from our website, and included short tips on discussing racism, assessing organizational capacity for advocacy, and a referral to a long but worthwhile video on technology and cities.
In November, 2018, we led off with an article about shared kitchens as one example of communities supporting food business start-ups. We also included a couple of links to help you keep up with the new opportunity zones program in the U.S., and described a new initiative in Denver to fund more mental health and addiction treatment locally.
For September, 2018, the main topic was vacant storefronts that occur in both affluent and struggling neighborhoods. We describe in brief why this is an issue, why landlords keep commercial spaces vacant, and what the neighborhood could do about it.
August, 2018, talks about a good approach to crime issues for neighborhood residents and associations, as well as reminders about the resources on this site for those who want to start a neighborhood association, community development corporation, or block unit.
The July, 2018, issue includes an article on quick jolts of color with paint for your utility boxes and other nondescript features of your town, as well as a truly important article about how a small town collected resident ideas and then created partnerships for implementation. Every place from rural areas to big cities could copy this model.
For June, 2018, we addressed current
practice on short-term rentals, how hope and well-being are becoming more
mainstream government and civic collaboration topics, encouraging walking, and reaching forgotten neighborhoods.
May, 2018, begins with how community groups can deal with controversial topics, and also includes blurbs about U.S. incentives for small and mid-sized communities, resources for maps and charts on equality of opportunity, and a cool grant competition for communities that want to expand economic opportunity.
April, 2018. We wrote a quick checklist of summer and autumn festival elements you want to keep in mind and invited you to participate in a fast survey about solutions for better community-minded policing. The feature article discussed "missing middle housing," which means missing both in terms of quantity of housing available in various price ranges as compared to incomes, and in terms of size and architectural mass.
March, 2018 is comprised of stories about cleaning up a street in Flint, right sizing community engagement opportunities to fit the complexity of what is being proposed, good signage practices for parks, and links to our new pages on annexation and transfer of development rights.
February, 2018. The lead article describes how to decide if you want to do a strategic plan for a neighborhood association, community, or CDC, or whether a neighborhood plan is in order. We also include some leading community development organizations that we recommend you check out, and as usual link to our new pages.
January, 2018 includes new ways of reaching people who deserve a say; links and short descriptions of important new reports and articles, with topics including the opioid crisis, young parents' desire to stay in walkable neighborhoods, a new homelessness toolkit, and need for government involvement in housing; website improvements and new articles.
December, 2017. When one organization or partnership isn't enough, you need collective impact. As usual we also described new pages on our website.
October-November, 2017 is comprised of fast photo lessons from an intriguing industrial redevelopment; anti-burnout formula for neighborhood association leaders, and tips for meetings with a resource person or public official.
September, 2017 includes best go-to web resources for different types of communities and community development situations, and a note about improved security on our site.
August, 2017 incorporated five steps to solid partnerships between non-profits such as a neighborhood association or community development corporation, and other entities as well as reminders about submitting community development questions or ideas to this website.
June-July, 2017 concentrates on counting your community's (non-financial) assets instead of liabilities.
May, 2017. Topics included community resilience, the capacity to bounce back from natural and man-made disasters.
April, 2017. In this issue, we asked you to think about saying yes to housing density along some arterial and collector streets.
March, 2017. Seven awesome items for your community "to do" list this spring include plantings, clean-ups, bridging community divides, planning to send your leaders for some neighborhood leadership skill-building, and more.
February, 2017. Pop-up businesses, temporary bike lanes and parklets, and other quick, cheap, grassroots experiments expand the imagination about what is possible or test a community improvement concept.
December, 2016. This month we talked about organizational planning, the light-hearted approach to New Year's planning, and community-oriented resolutions for individuals.
November, 2016. This newsletter gives you a reminder of New E-Book on Starting a Neighborhood Association, When It Feels Like Community Is Falling Apart (A Reflection on When Politics Divides), and Holiday Events to Plan Now.
October, 2016 includes Autumn Newsletter Ideas, and Starting a Neighborhood Association: Our New E-Book.
August, 2016. If you are wondering what to do about vacant commercial space, or little free libraries, we have suggestions.
July, 2016. Articles included 3 Causes and 3 Solutions for Conflict in Community Organizations, and Some Tips for Successful Back-to-School Events.
June, 2016. This issue contained: 7 Questions to Ask about Summer Fairs, Parades, Fireworks, and...Projects; Help Us Help You; and Flowers Make a Big Impact.
May, 2016 included 5 Tips for Suburban Socializing, Adding Population to Rural Areas, and The Latest on "Neighborhood Effects."
April, 2016, our inaugural issue in this format, included Welcome to Quick Notes; Medical Centers, Hospitals, Universities Can Anchor Portions of Your City; It's Spring But Any Season Works for a Clean-Up; and Cooperate Across Boundaries for Best Rural Areas.
Thanks for checking out the back issues of Useful Community Development Quick Notes, now called Useful Community Plus. Remember you can subscribe on this page or almost any other.
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