The community bonds that unite Newark are unique
In the Aug. 11 issue of the Newark Post, Karie Simmons, a reporter for the Newark Post, wrote a very moving farewell. I was particularly moved by this statement from the article, “I hope I did you proud and showed you the importance of community journalism, especially in a city like Newark.”
Karie spoke directly to the readers and the citizens of Newark. She focused on the fact that we are a COMMUNITY. She saw that we, the citizens of Newark, are connected to this entity which we call Newark.
Each of us may conjure up a specific meaning when we say “we live in Newark,” but within each individual meaning is the element of connectedness, affiliation and identity. It is this concept of COMMUNITY that inspires me to work hard as your mayor. Our community and our city government are connected to this entity for which we have hopes and dreams. We SEE the Newark we hope for and set goals to work toward this ideal.
Being this entity of Newark is very different from geographic closeness which can be attained by living in a development. Friends who live in North Wilmington are not connected to each other as we are in Newark. Friends who live in other nearby regions certainly do not have the sense of centrality that being a citizen of Newark provides.
In a few weeks, we will see this unfold with Newark Community Day on Sunday, Sept. 17. People share their goodness at Community Day. All kinds of groups tell their neighbors about their organizations and invite others to join them.
Each year, this event runs smoothly because of the contributions of our police department, our parks and recreation department, our public works department, many in our city government, as well as volunteers in our community. Community Day is anticipated throughout the community and is a significant demonstration of cooperation between the city and the university. It works because of tradition, hard work and teamwork.
We have similar “Newark” events, such as the Taste of Newark, parades, New Night Downtown, Food and Brew, Wine and Dine, the Fourth of July fireworks and the Easter egg hunt to name a few. These events are achieved with cooperation of all city departments, the Downtown Newark Partnership and the University of Delaware.
The city’s parks and recreation department organizes and monitors a full array of sports activities and a variety of classes for a nominal fee. In addition, the city develops, installs and maintains parks and trails that are enjoyed by our citizens and their friends. These are close to us and beautiful.
Putting the word Newark on a business or an event clearly delineates a specialness. It will be nearby; it will have authenticity. This internalizing of the ideal of Newark helps us, on city council, to make decisions that we hope will insure that the city stays vibrant and stable and lets us plan creatively for the future. We are committed to service excellence and we are committed to decisions to keep Newark a strong, vibrant, future oriented place to enjoy life.
Please share with me, what comes to your mind when you think of your community, your “Newark.”