On a cold, wet Sunday evening, a night that no one really wants to venture out, the Bellevue Alliance came together for their monthly potluck dinner. Kids were running around and people mingled and everyone brought a dish to share. It was just like a block party you would see on a summer night in the suburbs. The difference is, this group has been meeting every month for 2 years to do this.
The original purpose was for people in Bellevue to come together and meet each other in an effort to know their neighbors, which is something the suburbs have been seeing a decline in – people that really know and watch out for one another. They are a tight-knit group that sincerely cares about the future of their community and schools in their town. The elementary school principal, David Fuller, was there as well as the Bellevue Independent Schools superintendent, Robb Smith. The PTO president, Tim Vogt led a quick discussion on the things this group does for the community while everyone ate their dinners.
They talked about many things regarding their community and what they do for each other. There is a walking club, community garden and adopt-a-block program. The citizens offer new parents a “new baby welcome packet” which includes a “onesie” with a tiger on it, which is the school mascot. The “Little Hoopsters” is a group consisting of citizens that volunteer to work with kids to teach them how to play basketball. There was a discussion of a new art project for the city for which they have applied for grants. Bellevue Council member, Ryan Salzman, let everyone know they are welcome to come to the city council meetings and give feedback. They are also trying to get volunteers for different strategic committees: Public Safety, Housing, Economic Development, Infrastructure and Public Services, Governance and Finance, Education and Quality of Life. If anyone is interested, they should get in touch with him or any council member to discuss. He also informed the crowd that they were welcome to email questions, concerns or accolades to them for discussion at the next council meeting even if they couldn’t make it to the meeting.
It isn’t hard to see why Bellevue is on the upswing. Community groups like these, that offer consistent volunteerism and passion for their city, really make a community better. Citizens that are involved and know their neighbors make a neighborhood safer and give it more value.