At the 2nd Annual Jamaica Plain State of the Neighborhood Forum, the JP Resiliency Measures group squeezed in close, neighbor to neighbor, around a small cafeteria table and exchanged greetings. Around the circle, participants shared their definitions of resilience ranging from neighborliness to disaster preparedness to diversity. Discussion opened into speculation about the future and our ability to band together as a unified community. How will we reach everyone?
Participants were most concerned with bridging the language divide and making sure Jamaica Plain has a disaster preparedness plan that all residents are aware of and prepared to implement should the need arise. To include the two or three or ten JPs (according to City Councilor Arroyo) in the conversation about our community’s future, the Resiliency Measures group seeks to solicit responses through their resiliency survey.
A Diverse JP
“What if my neighbors speak Spanish?” One participant suggested throwing a party to dissolve language barriers. “Find out what celebrations are important to them, and on that day—celebrate together.” Another participant suggested going door to door with the resiliency survey, with a Spanish speaker and an English speaker side by side to greet each person.
Participants asked each other what basic necessities they would need in a disaster situation, such as a flood or deep freeze, to survive. Overwhelmingly, the answer was neighbors to rely on and a sense of community commitment to help each other out. According to one participant, even making sure each apartment building has a working porch light would create visible community connection.
In an effort to gauge neighborliness, the Resiliency Measures group plans to widely distribute their resiliency survey through local neighborhood associations, non-profits, and a door-to-door meet and greet. Ask for an invitation to our Google group and join the discussion. We want you to be part of Jamaica Plain’s future.