The Community Advisory Board (CAB), a board of the City Council, connects city government to residents so the public can have a voice in decisions that impact their lives and build a stronger community. Since 2003, the City Council has provided the CAB with a budget for the Community Improvement Grant (CIG) Program. The CIG Program supports community building and strengthens relationships among Santa Rosa residents. In 2018, CAB Members came together to develop a five-year strategic plan. Two of the CAB’s strategic priorities are to build connected and empowered neighborhoods, and form strong, trusting relationships with community leaders. One of the way in which they will achieve these goals is by implementing the CIG Program together with the City of Santa Rosa's Neighborfest Program.
A Neighborfest is a locally organized gathering, also known as a block party, that offers neighborhoods the chance to come together, have fun, and build stronger, more prepared and connected communities. Neighborfest is part of the Resilient Neighborhoods Network (RN2), a community powered framework for resilience and engagement modeled after San Francisco's Neighborhood Empowerment Network (NEN) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Whole Community concept of preparedness as a shared responsibility.
During the 2020 CIG - Neighborfest Program, the CAB will work with staff from the City of Santa Rosa and several community partners to offer one (1) Neighborfest event in each of the seven (7) City Council Districts. Neighborhood groups, including neighborhood associations, homeowners associations, and less formal neighborhood groups; nonprofits; service clubs; community organizations; and schools may apply for funding to hold a Neighborfest event and, if applicable, to implement a project or activity during their Neighborfest event. There are two funding tiers available:
- Tier 1: under Tier 1, applicants may apply for up to $2,500 to hold a Neighborfest event (focused on a small set of neighborhood blocks); and
- Tier 2: under Tier 2, applicants may apply for up to $5,000 to hold a Neighborfest PLUS event (several neighborhoods joined together for a community-wide event) or a Neighborfest event with a physical improvement activity or project (e.g. community garden creation or upgrade, mural painting, memorial bench installation, etc.) that must take place during the event.
Due to the limited number of events that can be conducted, this year’s CIG Program is considered competitive and eligibility of an application does not guarantee funding. The CAB is the final decision-making body in selecting grant awards. All grant applications must be for a Neighborfest event and be inclusive, accessible, free of charge to participants, and focus on broad community support. For more information and to apply, please visit the Community Improvement Grant - Neighborfest Program website today! The application periods closes Monday, January 6, 2020 at 4:00 PM.