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A Neighborhood Assembly is created when a group of people comes together to:

  • Improve the capacity and well being of their entire community, including every individual and group within it
  • Commit to a democratic, ongoing and inclusive process
  • Keep focused on fnding agreement and common ground supported by all

While every community has unique conditions to meet , there are some criteria necessary to success, above all:

  • Full participation: all voices, all stakeholder groups and all demographic groups are included
  • Full empowerment: there is a way for each and every individual and stakeholder group to participate directly in activities that affect them and their community
  • Commitment to genuine dialogue: everyone has an equal role as speaker and listener in seeking to develop shared understanding
  • Commitment to effective and strategic action: guided by a vision for the community based on common ground achieved through full participation and full inclusion
  • A commitment to the full inclusion of all stakeholders:  in addition to any official or formally recognized groups or institutions, the community recognizes that there are communities of stakeholders within their community defined by their experience, whether this be functional or demographic experience, and that these stakeholder groups carry important knowledge and wisdom that must be made available to the community through full recognition and participation in all phases of community life.
  • Formal approval: the goals and values and any specific goals and values set forth by the community must be approved by an authority recognized by the community, whether this be a legal or an extra-legal authority
  • Insitutionalized process: there must be a formally recognized and institutionalized process in place for sustaining the activities of community. These might include any number of forms and processes that satisfy the other criteria
  • Effective democratic practice: a commitment to the use of one or more methodologies which have the capacity to achieve these goals
  • Think globally, act locally: local action must be informed by global and local awareness
  • The whole acts in support of each of its parts:  The success of each individual is seen as a necessary component of community success and vice versa
  • The whole acts as a resposible participant in communities of which is ia a part: while the community acts on its own behalf and in pursuit of its own well being, it also is aware that its success is dependent on the success of larger groups, sister groups and daughter groups to which is is related