More than 200 million people across the United States live in a city, town or village that they love. While the country is feeling increasingly divided and polarized, the National League of Cities (NLC) is bringing together top researchers, media partners, corporate leaders and local elected officials to spotlight the connection that residents feel with their cities through the #LoveMyCity campaign.
As president of the National League of Cities, Gary, Indiana Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson created the Love My City campaign to help create more meaningful bonds between communities and their residents. Communities across the country are answering the question: what does it mean to call a place home? I’m excited to announce that the city of Sidney will be taking part in this national campaign in advance of our community’s bicentennial celebration. What better way to celebrate our community, than by sharing what it is we love about the city?
Recently, we’ve seen the positive impact that the United Way Day of Action has made in our community. From sprucing up our downtown and local parks, to improvement projects at local non-profits, members of our community came together and showed that they love this city. And we need to continue on the momentum of this powerful positive movement.
Whether you come from a big city or a small town, every one of us can look out our window and see a need: an elderly neighbor with weeds that need to be pulled, a co-worker having a difficult time improving their living situation, someone being mistreated based on race or gender. Each one of these needs can be tackled if we just open our eyes and commit to making a difference. Remember, you don’t have to be the loudest. You just need to commit to making a difference for at least one person.
By encouraging community members to engage in government and public life, cities can create more trusting, informed and inclusive communities. The city has approximately 82 volunteers on some 20 different boards and commissions. The time and many contributions these citizens lend to our governing process have been greatly appreciated over the years and we are always looking for persons interested in serving on these committees. The city also has a formalized Adopt-a-Park program that encourages registered participants to give back by helping to maintain the safety and appearance of the city parks.
From infants to young adults to baby boomers — each generation has different needs and experiences, and there are many different ways to show your love of community. To kick off our #LoveMyCity campaign, we’re asking that community members write a love letter to the community; share an anecdote, a memory or a dream that describes why you love the place you live. You can submit the love letter, memory, photo, or blurb to firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions can also be mailed to 201 W. Poplar St., Attn: Kari Egbert, Sidney, OH 45365.
In a world filled with division, let’s bring our community together with the Love My City campaign.
The writer is the city manager of Sidney.