OWN looking at ‘central coalition’ idea
The Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN) has begun expanding its service area.
City-recognized as the advocacy group for the older Westside, OWN this winter helped the Ivywild Improvement Society oppose a controversial halfway house, assisted Cheyenne-area residents with a school-closing issue, is currently working with Mesa Springs residents against the Pike Elementary School closure, and has taken early steps toward a long-term coalition of neighborhood organizations in the central part of the city.
“These are the older, established, mixed-use neighborhoods,” OWN President Welling Clark explained in a recent interview. “They have common ground with each other.” On land issues, for example, the mixed uses in older neighborhoods can leave them “vulnerable” to zoning changes or interpretations (such as in Ivywild), he added.
Regarding the “central coalition” (the group's working name), Clark emphasized that the idea is still just in the formative stages. “We haven't bounced it off all the neighborhoods yet, but we are getting pretty positive feedback,” he said.
Being part of a central group would provide a third tier to an informal neighborhood-support system. Currently, if OWN wants help on an issue, it goes to the citywide neighborhood organization, the Council of Neighbors and Organizations (CONO). Now, as Clark outlined it, CONO would only need to be called in if an issue was broader than the “central coalition” could deal with.
Here are other neighborhoods whose associations are envisioned as being coalition members: Skyway, Ivywild, Park Hill, Mesa, Mesa Springs, Country Club, Boulder Crescent, Boulder Park, Upper Shooks Run, Middle Shooks Run, Pleasant Valley, Nob Hill, Mill Street and Rustic Hills.
Westside Pioneer article