How to Become a Community Leader and Benefit Your Home

People are not immortal unless our legacy lives on. By doing his and her part for society and by helping others, people can create a lasting impact on so many, and that impact can continue for generations. Everyone has this power to shape the face of our future, but it is only in those who become community leaders that this effect can been seen so profoundly. Rising up to be a leader requires no prerequisites, only that you have a will to do good and you see a solution to a problem.

From organizing your street to organizing a town and using your willpower to do good to the governmental level and beyond, there are so many ways you can help those closest to you, your country, and even the world. Everyone can participate, as it is only through our combined effort that true change can be made. Below are some ideas:

Get to the Root of a Problem

There are two kinds of problems in society. One is a symptom, the other the source. Treating symptoms won’t help unless you also combat the source of the problem at hand. If your community is always full of trash, having community clean-ups won’t truly stop the problem until you install more garbage cans nearby and start a green-city initiative in schools.

It is also a mistake to assume you need to be in a position of power in order to make these changes. You can organize your community and petition those elected officials to make the changes that you want to see. Giving clear step-by-step instructions can help the changes you want to see come to life, rather than just giving a list of demands that your leaders don’t know how to tackle.

To find the root of the problem you need first to understand how your community thinks. It might be easy to fix a symptom, but changing how your neighborhood sees itself and behaves is another story, which is precisely why community leaders need to rise and take charge.

Start A Volunteer Group

Until you are elected, there is little that you will be able to do directly to help your community – aside from petitioning your elected officials. You won’t be able to start a clean streets initiative or make room in the budget for small business incentives to bring more jobs into the area. What you can do, however, is you can help the people on a person-to-person basis, starting with a volunteer group.

You can start a neighborhood watch if crime in your area is worrying you, or you can organize a group of volunteers who go around and help the elderly beautify their homes so that they have somewhere to live that they are proud of and want to show off. You can even use your specific skill set and work pro-bono hours. If you are a realtor, for instance, you can help your neighbors find ways to offset their costs by renting out a room in their property. As a lawyer, you can help your local community face expensive legal battles. You can make a change; you just need to have the dedication and drive to be the change that you want to see in your community.

Start Organizations

Another great way to help your community is by starting organizations and support groups with a specific goal in mind. You could host workshops that help those in your neighborhood become more employable, like a resume-writing class. Life-skill classes are also hugely popular, and by running these courses with your local community center, you can help cut costs. You should aim to keep membership fees or registration fees low to cover the nominal costs and get a group of volunteers on board to help those in your community be better.

This is particularly important for the youth in your neighborhood. Getting youth involved at a young age can help set them up for a great future, as not only can you help them get out of any bad home situations, you can also help them build up a great resume for colleges and scholarships. By giving kids a safe space to learn and do great things, you can better your community for life.

These initiatives don’t have to cost you money, either. You can find ways to create an income that covers the cost and build up a rotor of volunteers so that they only work say, once a month. It will require a lot of organizing and planning, but it can be done.

Fundraise

Another great way you can organize your community and put your leadership skills to work is through fundraising. This again doesn’t have to cost you anything but your time. Get your neighbors together and hold a bake sale for your local vet clinic that takes on pro-bono work, meaning low-income families and the homeless can care for their pets. Fundraise for causes that better your community, and in doing so bring your community together for the better.

Run for Office

Doing all this work to better your community can help you in other ways. It is the best way to campaign for an elected position because you aren’t just words, you are action. You have proven again and again that you can make changes in your community. You will have the experience and the community support to not only get elected but to make key changes.

Once you are elected, you will need to collaborate with other talented, passionate folks to work on how to run your city effectively. There will be a lot more you have to consider than you had before, which is why having a team of talented and dedicated individuals work together is necessary. Logistics must be prioritized because passion projects don’t keep a city running.

It is also advisable that you find ways to improve services while lowering costs. Street cleaners, for example, beautify the city immensely, but they can be incredibly costly to buy and to maintain. That is why you need to learn more about buying these machines second-hand and how to maintain them for maximum usage. You can run a city and budget effectively with innovative solutions, but you will need to work together with community and experts to get this done.

Green Your City

Climate change is not a hoax, it is very real, and it can affect your city if you aren’t prepared. As it stands, large cities like San Francisco are suing oil companies for their role in global warming, and for the escalated costs in maintaining their coasts. If you think that climate change cannot affect your city, think again.

When you are in charge, you will have more power to improve green initiatives. It, in turn, can attract top investors and companies who wish to work with communities that care for the environment. Working with the state government and federal government, you can make your green goals happen.

While you are working out the logistics of green initiatives and their costs, it is wise to implement new education campaigns into schools and around the city. Teaching children how to recycle correctly, how to use what they have more effectively, and the process and damage that our linear economy does to our planet can have a huge impact on the future. You want to educate the youth so that they can be the face of the future and so that they can bring what they learn home.

To make change happen now, create and advertise new initiatives. Many cities and even entire countries have a ban on single-use plastic bags. France, in particular, has banned plastic cups, plates, and cutlery, which is forcing companies to find new alternatives. Educating your populace on ways they can be more green is not enough, you need to offer incentives that make it easier and cheaper to do the right thing.

You could, for instance, offer a tax incentive for whole-food operations like grocery stores that allow customers to fill up their own containers, rather than buying plastic items. Having a few of these stores in your local area will help encourage consumers to choose whole food rather than pre-packaged food, and so on.

Stay Realistic

It can be far too easy to get caught up in doing the right thing when reality does not support that right thing. You need to remember to budget effectively and do what is realistically possible. Set the groundwork for great work to be done in the future. You won’t be able to achieve everything you want to see done, and that is okay. What is important is that you build up a strong foundation for the future.

Budgeting is always a key part of running any community, and without budgeting correctly and finding new ways to save money and to even make money back as a community, all your good intentions will fail. You need to build from the ground up, and only then can you see a permanent change in your hometown.

 

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