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Downtown Jacksonville Residents' Alliance


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I have lived in Springfield for nearly seven years now and, although we have a fairly active neighborhood organization in SPARC, I haven't seen SPARC do any coordination or communication with other downtown neighborhoods.

Is there any coordination between homeowners'/renters' associations? We all have essentially the same needs and challenges; collectively we're gaining enough residents to become a considerable force if we all worked together.

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It would be nice to be included in Downtown Vision's scope but I was thinking more of a structure that unites the existing and future organizations (say, Downtown Vision, Berkman Plaza's homeowners' association, SPARC, 11E Residents' association, etc..) toward the common goal of a highly productive, more habitable Downtow/urban core. The groups should keep their autonomy so they don't lose focus on their specific issues but should be connected enough to pool resources regularaly and in each others' interests. I am a newly elected member of the SPARC board so I will try and press the issue at our next meetng.

I am really excited about most everything I see Downtown nowadays. My wife and I had our anniversiary dinner at the newly resurrected Ieasu last month, 127 new families have moved into Berkman Plaza, 11E seems to be kickin', people are walking their dogs on Ocean, Adams, Forsyth, etc.., Martin doesn't mind when I walk into London Bridge carrying my 57" skateboard, the list just goes on and on..

Thanks for the warm welcome. I tend to lurk around boards for a while to get a feel for them but this seemed like somewhere I could jump in with both feet and post on my first ever visit.

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^^ What you are describing is what I had in mind with my post as well. There needs to be an umbrella organization that encompasses downtown, Springfield, Riverside/Avondale/Ortega, San Marco, and Eastside at a minimum. Each member organization would continue it's current mission but would contribute representation to a collective association, similiar to the Cultural Council. This organization could focus on common issues and problems that many or all of the areas face. For instance, issues involving crime, parking, panhandling, the PERCEPTION of crime, etc. Also, they could sponsor joint promotions and advertising. Springfield and RAP (and maybe others) both have programs where members receive discounts at local merchants via their member card. This could be expanded to "swap benefits". In other words, if you join RAP, you can receive the discounts that SPAR members get, and vice versa. Also, this group could be a formative lobby for urban issues and causes. Many voices speak a lot louder than a few.

Imagine if Springfield, RAP, San Marco, Downtown Vision, Parks at the Cathedral HOA, Berkman HOA, etc. all joined forces to stop the widening of Riverside Avenue. That way, it might not be dismissed so easily by FDOT and city hall. It certainly wouldn't hurt the cause.

Contrats on joining the SPAR board Springfiedian! Volunteer neighborhood groups need all the help they can get. You sound like you could bring some good ideas to the table also. Good luck!

P.S. The reason I suggested that DVI take the lead on this, is that they are geographically central to all the other groups. Also, they have a paid staff whereas the others rely mostly on volunteers.

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