Is Residents Forward doing enough for Port Washington? What areas can the group improve in? How can I get involved?
Those are some of the questions that the organization — previously known as Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington — plans on answering at its annual meeting next week.
“We’re hoping that people will come, they’ll learn how they can get involved, we can work collaboratively,” said the group’s executive director, Mindy Germain.
The meeting will be held at the Port Washington Public Library on Thursday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m. Over the course of an hour and a half, all members of the public are encouraged to ask about the organization and help plan for the year ahead.
This year’s theme is “Don’t Just Talk About It. Do Something About It.” Germain hopes that this message will help encourage residents to get involved and inform them about the organization’s six core areas of focus.
“We surveyed the community to find out what is most important, and these six things rose to the top,” she said.
Those six areas are drinking water, Port’s Main Street, the waterfront, litter, parking and climate change. During the meeting, members of the organization’s board and staff will share what Residents Forward is doing to address those concerns and how Port residents can help.
“To give an example, enhancing the waterfront — we want to preserve public access to the waterfront and we’ve been actively involved with the Town [of North Hempstead’s] moratorium on development within the business BW district,” Germain said. “We asked, what does the community want to see out of this? We got more input after looking at best practices from around the world. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to really develop the waterfront and use it to our advantage.”
She also mentioned efforts to help with the peninsula’s parking problem, saying that the pilot program for a shuttle service — which is currently operating in Port Washington North — was a possible solution.
Attendees will have the opportunity to sign up in one or more areas of their choice. Involvement can be as little as helping out at one event — like the organization’s annual “Clean Green Main Street” event every April — to as much as possible.
“Our greatest moments are when we can bring the community together to advocate for what the community sees as a more vibrant, resilient and sustainable future,” said Germain, noting that the organization recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. “It is about community and team building, and finding the issues we can galvanize around. This meeting will hopefully be a catalyst for that.”
Reach reporter Luke Torrance by email at [email protected], by phone at 516-307-1045, ext. 214, or follow him on Twitter @LukeATorrance.