Central Rappahannock Library, Salem Run Neighborhood Watch Host “Community Conversations”
Four community leaders eagerly offered their time for a civic participation experiment called “Community Conversations” at the Salem Church Library on May 5, 2016. The focus was the Courtland District of Spotsylvania County.
School Board Member Dr. James A. Meyer, Supervisor David Ross, and Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office 1st Sgt. Shaun Jones and Deputy William Lee shared updates and information, as well as their views on the state of the district, current challenges, and their vision for the future.
Speakers and participants discussed numerous relevant topics, such as school and county budgeting, economic development projects, and community policing. Leaders raised awareness about local crime prevention events and initiatives like National Night Out, free summer sports camps, R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense) self defense classes, and the Neighborhood Watch program. Also mentioned were local events and programs targeting kids and families like the Library’s Summer Reading Club, Trunk or Treat, and and the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank’s Kids on the Go program, which provides free lunch for kids 18 and under during summer vacation.
The over-reaching theme of the evening was “partnerships,” and all participants echoed the importance of working together to strengthen our community and overcome our challenges.
When it comes to political and social viewpoints, the participants represented a wide spectrum from left to right, young to senior and demographically diverse, but one thing brought everyone together. They all shared a commitment to spark conversation, share perspectives and listen. While we may not share the same opinions, “community conversations” present an opportunity to build trust and consider alternate views so that we can grapple with the hardest and most contentious issues, like the heroine epidemic, taxes, and transportation.
Opening up the dialogue and sharing information can lead to more significant efforts to collaborate, plan and find real solutions. The sponsors of this event, the Central Rappahannock Regional Library and the Salem Run Neighborhood Watch, are uniquely positioned to provide on-going opportunities for the community to come together.
The next Community Conversation will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 2, to talk about food and hunger, For more information, contact me at [email protected]
Lena Gonzalez Berrios, Branch Manager
Salem Church Branch
Central Rappahannock Regional Library
2607 Salem Church Rd.
Fredericksburg, Va. 22407