Re: Meet the tool of the Police State: Nextdoor.com
Yes, that's certainly an issue in our city, too. The neighborhood associations are dominated by really small, tight groups of 'old friends' who make no attempt to represent the actual neighborhood, and will attack anyone making an earnest attempt to join the decision making. The City Council pays way too much attention to what NA say, and take them at their word that they're speaking the neighborhood's opinion. There is some reform under development though.
Austin also has a "neighborhood council" (not a City bureau) which is sort of an umbrella org for all NA, but they've been assimilated by the same mindset. SO we have an alternate neighborhood council called "Friends of Austin Neighborhoods" and they likewise advocate folks launching alternate neighborhood associations.
I hesitated on that for a while, but then we went ahead and registered with the City. The truth is, things are so bad that we can't work within the system. Our neighborhood finally has a website, and news is posted daily instead of in the old NA's 6x-a-year self-praising tract sheet newsletter. We're aiming to be a nonprofit org so we can handle money to fund social events and give out grants.
Naturally, our old NA is shrieking mad at us. They had a good thing going where they literally did nothing as neighborhood leaders, but got to meet and have their important meetings and use their important titles when emailing and phoning the City. Our members ran for office in the old NA and the election was conducted as a flat-out sham to make our candidates loose. The funniest thing is how the old NA points at the mountain of work we've done and things we've accomplished, and try and draw it all up as unfair attacks on their own hard volunteer work. And what is it that they do? *shuffle feet* Uhm, next topic!