Why are organized neighborhoods vital?
This is a handy guide to get your MON started or to juice up its energy. Feedback welcome!
History of MONs
And just what is a MON, you ask. It's a Montclair Organized Neighborhood. Huh? In 2004, Piedmont Pines joined its sister organization, Montclair Safety & Improvement Council (recently renamed Montclair Neighborhood Council), in an ambitious effort to get Montclair's neighborhoods divided into 40- to 60-home groups to:
- watch out for one another
- learn how to respond in emergencies
- protect themselves against crime
- beautify their surroundings
- solve ultra-local issues like parking, blight
- have fun!
PPNA went a step further and declared in its (first-ever) 2004 strategic plan the goal of getting 100% of PPNA's neighborhoods organized into MONs.
PPNA is now divided into 27 MONs, of which only seven were already organized when we did our first inventory in 2005. We made a hard drive to get the other 20 to at least Level 1, which means they'd have:
- boundaries scoped
- roster of residents
- neighborhood leader(s)
- system for communicating among themselves
- at least one gathering per year
Each year, we've chipped away at MON organizing, hunting for people who would take on the leadership roles. We now have nearly every MON that has at least reached most of the Level 1 steps. Cause for celebration!
PPNA MON map, primary contacts
Here's our boundary map. Names below each MON number are either confirmed leaders or, in some cases, people who've expressed an interest in getting their MON organized. If you want to energize your MON, or if there are any corrections to the map, please email us. we have a three-person team ready and eager to help you. To get in touch with your MON leader, send us an email with your street address and we'll get you connected.
Help for MON leaders
Download our MON Leader's Guide for tips and resources, like how to schedule CORE or Neighborhood Watch training, ideas for social events and more. Let us know what we should add/delete to maximize the usefulness of this guide.
Climb the MON Skills Ladder
We've established three levels to mark the training and skills level of each MON:
MON Level 1 (Start-up Organization)
- Start-up team assembled to organize neighborhood
- Leader(s)/roles determined--divide responsibilities into teams
- Boundaries identified, map created
- Roster completed
- Kick-off event held
Communications system established. [Consider these three popular options--each has advantages and disadvantages]
- PiedmontPines.Nextdoor.com--each person can set filters for what topics they want to read, and even establish a "private" group off the Piedmont Pines site just for your MON. Learn more.
- Google Group https://groups.google.com/forum/#!overview
- Groups.io https://groups.io/helpcenter/gettingstarted
Note: Yahoo Groups shutters in December 2020. Learn more here about converting your Yahoo group
MON Level 2 (Crime Prevention/Personal Safety Focused)
- Achieve 50% neighbors trained in Neighborhood Watch
- Participate in National Night Out (First Tuesday night in August)
- Achieve 25% neighbors trained in CORE 1 [Consider: It takes 15 participants for CORE to train at someone's home. If you can't get 15 people scheduled, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will query nearby MONs for extra participants. Schedule at www.oaklandcore.org]
- Assist a neighboring MON during Citywide CORE emergency preparedness drill (April)
MON Level 3 (Emergency Preparedness Focused)
- Achieve 25% neighbors trained in CORE 2 and 3
- Participate in Citywide CORE emergency preparedness drill (April)
- Establish radio communications channel; train neighbors
- Incident Command Center established and stocked with emergency supplies
- Boundary map enhanced with gas shut off valve location for each property