I grew up in a close-knit neighborhood. We went on vacations with many of our neighbors, had what seemed to be never-ending sleepovers, and my parents to this day call those from our cul-de-sac their best friends–even though retirement has spread them across the country.
Everyone helped one another, with after school pickups, building a deck, and pet sitting. And we celebrated together. The Haas’ always held a Fourth of July party on their driveway, parents collaborated on an Easter egg hunt in our park, and my dad strung holiday lights on the huge spruce tree at the entrance of the neighborhood and households contributed a handmade ornament to the decor.
As I got older I realized that this wasn’t the experience of most, but to my core I believe a collaborative, safe and creative neighborhood like the one I had the privilege of growing up in should be an environment everyone can call home.
We do a pretty good job of this as North Libertarians already. Many of you probably settled here because you heard North Liberty is a great place to raise a family. And it is. North Liberty has also long been labeled a bedroom community, with most residents working elsewhere in the ICR area. That’s true, too. But I’m challenging us to take it a step further. Let’s be known for our great neighborhoods.
I want my children to have fond memories of the neighborhood they grew up in, and I bet you want that for your family, too. Being a neighborhood ambassador allows you to play an active role in shaping our community. I’m on your team, and my colleagues and I are excited to help you make your corner of North Liberty as informed, engaged and inclusive as possible.
Community Engagement Coordinator
Apply to be an Ambassador
What is a Neighborhood Ambassador?
Neighborhood Ambassadors are volunteers passionate about advancing the quality of life for their neighbors. These on-the-ground local leaders partner with the city to help close the information gap between the city and residents, build community through gatherings and projects, and connect neighbors to each other and to community resources. Ambassadors are the eyes, ears, and voices for their corner of North Liberty.
Ideal ambassadors are community minded, value diversity, and recognize the importance of information equity.
How many ambassadors are there?
We expect to recruit between 30 and 40 ambassadors. Ideally, each neighborhood will have between one and three ambassadors, depending on the number of households in the designated area. Additionally, we’ll have an ambassador in each of North Liberty’s senior living facilities and recruit language ambassadors to strengthen the city’s communication with residents who are English language learners.
What exactly do ambassadors do?
Ambassadors help disseminate city news, alerts, and announcements about opportunities to residents in whatever form of communication works best for their neighborhood. While Facebook or Nextdoor posts might do the trick for one neighborhood, flyers or letters might work best for another. The communications department will work with each ambassador to establish the most efficient and effective way to share information with their neighbors.
And communication is a two-way street. We encourage ambassadors to share their neighbors’ individual and collective concerns, ideas, and the good things taking place in their neighborhood with city leadership.
What’s in it for me?
- A network of 30 to 40 fellow ambassadors. Meet new friends and build connections throughout the city with in-person and virtual ambassador meetings and events
- Access (if you choose) to personal and community development opportunities, such as implicit bias and emergency response training, at no expense to you
- Tours of city facilities
- Be in-the-know of city happenings through ambassador communications
- Pride in bringing your neighbors closer to one another
- A greater understanding for how the city works, and the faces behind each department
What is the time commitment?
We recognize that this is a volunteer role and the amount of time you can commit to being an ambassador will fluctuate week to week and month to month. Our asks of you will vary based on community happenings, too, but should be able to be accomplished in an hour per week or less.
For urgent news–like weather or safety alerts–we expect our ambassadors to help us spread the word quickly. An overview of expectations is below. Generally, you can decide how often you’d like to coordinate neighborhood projects or block parties and can work on them whenever fits your schedule. The same goes for sharing non-urgent city news (remember not to leave grass clippings in the streets, recreation registration opens next week, etc).
Expectations of Ambassadors
- Reside in city limits
- Join Nextdoor to receive city updates and connect with neighbors
- Follow the City of North Liberty on your social media (we’re on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram)
- Subscribe to city email announcements
- North Liberty Bulletin (monthly)
- News (5-10/month)
- Road closures and project updates (as needed)
- Emergency alerts (as needed)
- Share relevant city news, updates, welcome packets and other provided resources with neighbors
- Enable neighborhood activities
- Be knowledgeable of area social services
- Be knowledgeable of city departments and connect residents to the appropriate contacts to address questions
- Welcome new neighbors to the area
- Be a role model of Good Neighbor practices
- Be responsive to ambassador/city communication
As the program develops, expectations may adjust.
Wait, are you asking me to be the neighborhood enforcer?
Absolutely not. Ambassadors are charged with heightening the community spirit in their neighborhood and to be approachable to answer general city questions (do I need a permit for this? how do I switch my trash can size?). The city does not expect ambassadors to mediate grievances between neighbors. Although, we do hope that in time the good work ambassadors do leads to residents being more informed and connected to each other so respectful and productive conversations can naturally take place (hey, your dog has been barking a lot lately and it is scaring my kids. Can we find a way to all enjoy our backyards?)
Apply online through the link below or pick up a paper copy at the City Administration building at 3 Quail Creek Circle.
Applications will be accepted through Friday, October 30, 2020. Applicants will hear from a city communications department staff member or communications advisory commissioner during the selection process. Once the initial team of ambassadors is in place, vacancies will be filled on a rolling basis. Ambassadors can serve in their volunteer role for as long as both the ambassador and the City find it mutually beneficial.
Contact community engagement coordinator Jillian Miller with questions at [email protected] or (319) 626-5757.
Apply to be an Ambassador