What does is it mean to engage in your community? Be involved, be active, volunteer, communicate, attend meetings. All of these things are crucial components of engaging in your community. This is how Wikipedia defines Community Engagement: Community engagement
refers to the process by which community benefit organizations and individuals build ongoing, permanent relationships for the purpose of applying a collective vision for the benefit of a community.
This past Friday, the City of Cocoa hosted a Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon for the individuals that volunteer their time to benefit this community. There were individuals who volunteer on one of our many boards or committees, special event volunteers and volunteer cops, among many others. The Volunteer of the Year award was given to Mr. George Brown, Jr. who has volunteered on a board for over 30 years. Mr. Brown is committed to moving his community forward!
George Brown, Jr. with Cocoa City Council at Volunteer Recognition Luncheon
Engaging in your community is not just about volunteering. You can get involved in your community other ways as well. There are two City Council meetings every month as well as other meetings throughout the year such as town hall meetings, visioning sessions, budget hearings, board meetings, etc. Come out to these meetings and give your thoughts and opinions. The City of Cocoa has a Facebook
Page, an online forum
and this community blog
. You can give your feedback to topics posted on these social media platforms. Let your ideas be heard and engage in your community processes.
Request tours of City facilities or have a City representative come and speak with your classroom, neighborhood, and/or community organization. The City of Cocoa Utilities Department has several conservation topics that can be brought to your classroom or community organization meeting. Set up a tour of one of our City facilities such as the Dyal Water Treatment plant. Come see how the City of Cocoa works. Recently Deputy Mayor, Clarence Whipple, Jr. visited Emma Jewel Charter Academy for their career day event and spoke with the students about what it's like to be an elected official and the duties and responsibilities involved on a daily basis for this position. Students were engaged and asking some intense questions of Mr. Whipple.
Deputy Mayor Whipple at the Emma Jewel Charter Academy Career Day event
So I challenge you to find a way to become engaged in our community and help to move Cocoa forward. We need to work together to continue to move forward and community engagement is the key to our success.
Begin your community engagement process by coming out to the Mayor's Crime Awareness and Prevention Summit next Tuesday, September 30th from 6-9pm at the Cocoa Civic Center. Share your ideas on how we as a community can keep decreasing crime and turn around the image of Cocoa for good.
Volunteer needs for the City of Cocoa:
-The Police Department is always in need of volunteer cops. This is an all volunteer program that is coordinated through the Cocoa Police Department. Volunteers register to assist the police department with certain calls such as traffic related issues, road closures, work with the Community Resource Unit, work special events, cover school zones, assist with training days, etc. To volunteer for this program please contact Chico Mastropaolo at firstname.lastname@example.org
or Major Mark Oenbrink at (321) 637-6315.
-The Leisure Services Department puts on several community events throughout the year like FREE movies in the park, Halloween in the Village, Cocoa's Holiday Festival, July 4th with the Brevard Symphony Orchestra. Thousands of attendees come out for these events each year. The City of Cocoa puts on these events for the community but could not do it without the assistance of volunteers. Volunteer duties range from running activities such as bounce houses and kids games to face painting and trash pick-up. To volunteer for these great community events, fill out a Volunteer Application
and submit to the HR Department, 65 Stone St., Cocoa, FL 32922. HR will notify the Leisure Services department once your application has been approved.
-Boards and Committees: There are several boards and committees within the City of Cocoa that are in need of members including the Affordable Housing Committee, the Board of Trustees for the Firefighters Retirement Plan, US 1 Corridor Redevelopment Agency and the Utilities Advisory Board. Click Here
to learn more on how you can become a member.
Comment below on this blog or e-mail me, Samantha Senger, Public Relations Specialist at email@example.com
to send your thoughts and/or comments. You can also reach me at (321) 433-8685.