Forming Block Clubs & Tenant Councils (The Do’s & Don’ts)
There are many procedures that must be followed when forming Block Clubs and Tenant Councils. There are 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.
2. LOCATION 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 community room.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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 a maximum of 90 minutes. Anything beyond this tends to lose the members’ interest. If a discussion becomes particularly intense or is unresolved in the allotted time, then a date for another meeting should be set to further address the issue.
1. 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).
2. If 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.