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Call for Board Members of the Heartside Downtown Neighborhood Association

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“By taking a leadership role, you have the power to discuss issues and create improvements...Collaborating on issues or events can be a great bridge for our community.”
HDNA Board members discuss community issues and find creative solutions for their neighborhood

HDNA Board members discuss community issues and find creative solutions for their neighborhood

Apply for HDNA Board Leadership Today!

Use this link to complete and submit your application. Applications are due by July 31st, so don't wait!

A highly clever sign invites HDNA Board feedback over delicious local food

A highly clever sign invites HDNA Board feedback over delicious local food

“The Heartside neighborhood is full of life and diversity. We have some of the most amazing people living here that make this neighborhood vibrant and interesting,” says Rochelle Sather, Board Member of the Heartside Downtown Neighborhood Association (HDNA). This summer, the HDNA is providing a powerful opportunity to make a difference in the Heartside neighborhood by offering new seats on their board. Board members have a voice in community-building, organizing, and improvement efforts. In serving a two-year term, members attend monthly and open meetings, participate in group correspondence, serve on committees, volunteer at events, contribute to fundraising efforts, and work with the community to increase understanding about the HDNA. Applications are due to the HDNA by July 31st, 2020.

Sathers discusses how being a board member empowers: “By taking a leadership role, you have the power to discuss issues and create improvements. The HDNA is also a direct line to your city council members and other elected officials. You have the privilege of meeting other neighborhood leaders as well. Collaborating on issues or events can be a great bridge for our community.” Indeed, the HDNA has a rich history of engaging, building up and improving the community. Daniel Drent, Historian and Board Member of the HDNA, cites the Heartside Pride Cleansweep as one of his favorite examples. The volunteering event involves partnering with Aquinas College students to clean the neighborhood. Drent particularly loves how this volunteering facilitates the opportunity to learn, share and have meaningful encounters with the neighborhood, saying “People need to see the community of Heartside, give their time instead of cash,” Sathers expresses a similar sentiment, “Attending events is a great way to feel more connected to the place you live, work, and play.”

So why is having a voice in this process important? Why should you apply? According to Sathers, “Strong vibrant neighborhoods don’t just happen. They’re the result of years of hard work and effort.” Moreover, she insists, “active partnerships between municipalities and neighborhood associations can strengthen cities and towns. Bringing neighborhood associations on board helps make members part of the solution, rather than an obstacle, in planning the community’s future.” Truly then, it is passion and diverse perspectives that creates great leadership. Drent cites also “the desire for positive change, a willingness to listen, a willingness to adjust, the ability to understand somebody else’s perspective, and the ability to compromise.” The HDNA is also looking for those with expertise in housing advocacy, fund development, marketing and engagement, legal and finance, and advocacy and community engagement; if these skills or interests resonate with you, you are encouraged to apply. 

Finally, Sathers offers an invitation:“Whether you can be an active participant or a supportive member, we encourage all residents to come to meetings to hear presentations regarding interests for our community.” The mission of the Heartside Downtown Neighborhood Association (HDNA) is “to build community strength through collaborating with diverse partners, intentionally positioning resident leaders, and adapting to the changing needs of downtown neighbors.” For more information on the HDNA or to apply to become a board member, visit There you can also find a digital embedded form application or printable application which you can fill out, scan, and send to their email, [email protected]

Dwelling Place is committed to supporting neighborhood associations and business associations in all of the communities where its residents live. Read more about how Dwelling Place has played a key role in the establishment and flourishing of the Heartside Downtown Neighbohood Association by checking out these articles: Modern-day incorporation of HDNA, History of Heartside event

With a mission to improve the lives of people by creating quality affordable housing, providing essential support services and serving as a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization, Dwelling Place serves families and people in 4 counties across West Michigan. Dwelling Place is powered by volunteers and numerous staff persons, guest writers create our Rapidian content. Thanks to Emma Henkel for her contribution of this piece. Emma is and AmeriCorps VISTA serving Dwelling Place pursuing her degree in Community Leadership at Aquinas. When Emma isn't bridging community, she loves being creative through poetry, creative-nonfiction, and dance.


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