SIDE STREETS: Today is a good day to meet your neighbors

April 26, 2013
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Did you know today is a holiday?

Well, it’s more of a wannabe holiday for neighborhoods.

A social media group, GOOD, is today launching international Neighborday.

GOOD describes itself as a global community, based in Los Angeles, created for “pragmatic idealists working towards individual and collective progress.”

More simply put: “people who give a damn.”

Its website,, is a collection of observations, essays about life and neighbors and what it means to build community. Plus a lot of other good things.

One of its goals is building strong neighborhoods, which it sees as fundamental to strong communities.

They cite lots of evidence of the value of neighborhood relationships. And as inspiration for Neighborday, they point to the late San Francisco leader Harvey Milk.

“The American Dream starts with the neighborhoods,” Milk once said. “If we wish to rebuild our cities, we must first rebuild our neighborhoods. And to do that, we must understand that the quality of life is more important than the standard of living.”

Milk urged people to turn off their TVs and gather on their front porches. That’s exactly the idea of Neighborday.

GOOD asks folks to observe Neighborday by reaching out to their neighbors. It wants folks to introduce themselves, build phone trees so they can contact each other in the event of an emergency like, say, a neighborhood lockdown by police. Share a picnic, they suggest, or some other fun activity to forge bonds of friendship.

I think it’s a great idea.

We’ve seen right in Colorado Springs what can happen when neighbors isolate themselves. They are vulnerable to con artists who knock on the door, smile, pretend to live down the block and ingratiate themselves.

Next thing you know, you are driving a stranger around, trusting him and giving him cash.

Had folks been better connected to their neighbors, they might have recognized the guy as a fraud. Instead, he conned thousands of dollars out of trusting folks.

I’ve posted GOOD links with my blog along with a toolkit GOOD created to foster Neighborday introductions and activities.

So let’s get neighborly and then tell me how it went.

Read my blog updates at


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