Executing the Plan
1 Recruit others to join you. Reach out to neighbors, family members, volunteer and civic groups, block clubs and neighborhood associations, schools and higher education institutions, foundations, philanthropists, local business leaders, and nonprofit leaders to show your mayor strong community support for joining Cities of Service.
2 Secure a meeting with your mayor. In some cities, it may be fairly easy to get a meeting with your mayor. In other cities, request a meeting with a high-level city official who has access to the mayor (e.g., deputy mayor, city manager, chief of staff, council member, commissioner or department head, volunteer manager, etc.). It may be helpful to find someone who knows the mayor and/or a senior staff member who can request and attend the meeting with you.
3 Make your case to your mayor (or his/her senior representative). Being a part of Cities of Service allows mayors to make measurable impact on pressing city needs, increase community engagement, and improve the city’s civic health (check out your city’s Civic Health Score at http://www.ncoc.net/CHI). Mayors have also joined the coalition because it enables them to bring positive recognition to their cities and to actively support residents who are helping to revitalize their own neighborhoods.
a Brainstorm ways that your city could benefit from directing volunteers in targeted initiatives that address key community problems. (See the Cities of Service Blueprints for ideas: http://www.citiesofservice.org/resources/.)
b Many mayors want to make use of every possible resource to advance their city. Leveraging volunteers has been shown to help cities move the needle against pressing challenges. Show your mayor that Cities of Service is a proven approach that is working in a variety of locales by printing out a list of cities in the coalition, including any in your state or region. (Go to http://www.citiesofservice.org/coalition for a complete list.)
c There is no cost to join the coalition, and joining gives the city many benefits. (See Cities of Service Benefits box on page 10.)
4 Get a commitment from your mayor. To join the coalition, the mayor must sign the Declaration of Service. Once s/he has signed the Declaration and filled out the contact information, the city government representative can email it to Cities of Service at firstname.lastname@example.org.