“What Can I Do to Improve My Neighborhood?” is the title given to a letter to the editor published recently in the Des Moines Register, my local newspaper. Letter writing is still a valuable way to communicate with neighbors, as the example below demonstrates.

“During the most recent election cycle in the city of Des Moines, I heard citizens ask elected officials, ‘What will you do to revitalize my neighborhood?’ The bigger question we should be asking is, ‘What can I do, as a resident, to improve my neighborhood?'”

“I am a strong proponent of neighborhood associations because research suggests, dollar for dollar, they are the most cost-effective way of lowering crime and increasing quality of life. The problem is that only a fraction of the city’s 55 neighborhood associations function with full boards, regular meetings and active neighbors. Please consider volunteering.”

First position

The best placement for a letter to the editor is in the first position. The editors saw the value of my message and elected to give it top billing. Published December 27, 2019