What is Community Organizing and How Does it Bring About Change? Stories From NEKO

What is community organizing and how does it bring about change? These are the questions members of Northeast Kingdom Organizing (NEKO) answer every day through their vision, commitment, and hard work. Through NEKO, the CAE joins with organizations across the region to improve the quality of life of the people and the places of the Northeast Kingdom.  By sharing our stories and building relationships across perceived differences, NEKO marshals the resources to take collective action to meet local challenges. In November, representatives of all 10 of NEKO's member groups convened in Orleans and voted unanimously to approve three campaigns: 

Food Security: Children, Youth and Families Team is working with the Northeast Kingdom Hunger Council and other partners to get a picture of barriers to food access at a neighborhood level and to identify actions steps to address them. 


Transportation: the Transportation Team is working with Restorative Justice Centers to host a community conversation about the impact of drivers’ license suspension for nonpayment of DMV fines on families who are low income. 


The 3rd Street Hood Chat:  In August, residents of 3rd Street in Newport did not feel safe in their homes. Substance misuse and related criminal activity was rampant and young children from the neighborhood were being taken into state custody at an alarming rate. Neighbors came together and decided to take action to address these challenges and to build a safe, resilient community that supports parents in recovery. Since August, the 3rd Street Hood Chat has met monthly to build relationships, build skills, and to partner with the city and local agencies. If you happen to be in Newport on the 3rd Thursday of the month, stop by the United Church of Newport. Dinner is served at 5:30 and meeting or activities follow. 


NEKO is an organization of organizations, and is inviting new members to join this spring! Both Organizations (faith based, and community based) and individuals are welcome to join. The next membership assembly will be May 11th. For more details, please contact nekorganizing@gmail.com

Friends of NEKO member Carolyn Rossi and her granddaughter Avani caroling with the 3rd Street Hood Chat in Newport.
Friends of NEKO member Carolyn Rossi and her granddaughter Avani caroling with the 3rd Street Hood Chat in Newport