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  • Writer's pictureWe're All Neighbors

North Austin Safety Summit Recap

Updated: Sep 29, 2023

A community-based approach to safety

Safety is a fundamental need. We all want to feel secure and protected, whether we're at home, walking down the street, or in our neighborhood parks. However, the conversation around safety can often be daunting, filled with fear and polarizing language. It's not uncommon to feel powerless when we face significant and systemic issues that seem beyond our control. But what if the path from fear to empowerment starts right in our neighborhoods?



Safety Summit Snapshot


Last month, we set out to create a space where neighbors could connect with each other, local officials, business owners, APD, APH, and others working to help make North Austin a safer place to live. We shared from the heart, witnessed one another, and reflected on the interconnectedness of our lives as people sharing the same geographical space.

The inaugural North Austin Safety Summit had a wonderful turnout from the community, including:


  • 120 Estimated attendees

  • 7+ Neighborhoods represented

  • 12+ Organizations and agencies participated


Our discussions at the Summit centered around safety, but it was also about building bridges and finding common ground. We firmly believe that safety starts with getting to know one another, building trust, and having healthy dialogues. This event allowed us to do just that.



The Power of Community


The Safety Summit could not have happened without the support of more than a dozen neighborhood volunteers who came together to plan and host it. They dedicated their time and energy, knocking on over 100 doors to spread the word, moderating workshops, preparing food, and even transforming the community space at St. Mark UMC with a fresh coat of paint, curtains, and more. This remarkable show of unity and collective effort was a living demonstration of our belief that everyone has something valuable to contribute to their community.



Engaging with Officials


The Safety Summit also helped strengthen ties with local officials. We were honored to have the participation of Councilmembers Pool and Vela, representatives from the Austin Police Department, the Texas Department of Public Safety, Austin Public Health, and the District Attorney's office.

These officials listened to our concerns, shared their insights, and actively participated in the dialogue.


Our councilmember’s office noted that the event was “a really effective model for neighborhood engagement and empowerment on public safety.”



Comprehensive Report


To delve deeper into the insights, discussions, and solutions that emerged from this event, we are excited to share with you the North Austin Safety Summit Report.


This report includes information about participants, key takeaways from the workshops, and the thoughts and ideas shared during the event.


It also includes 5 next steps that emerged from the Summit, including a workshop series and neighborhood improvement projects.

Click the link below to download the full North Austin Safety Summit Report.



North Austin Safety Summit Report - We're All Neighbors
.pdf
Download PDF • 20.54MB

Looking Ahead


The Safety Summit wasn't just a one-time gathering. It was a celebration of our shared commitment to making North Austin a safer, stronger, and more connected community.


We believe that by working together, we can unlock the potential of our neighborhoods and create positive change. As we reflect on the North Austin Safety Summit, we are reminded that the path from fear to empowerment is a journey best taken together. Some next steps our community will be pursuing as a result of the Summit include:

1. Community workshop series

2. Neighborhood improvement projects

3. Education on addressing homelessness

4. Cross-collaboration between neighborhoods

5. Follow-ups with city council and APD



Acknowledgements


Thank you to everyone who made this inaugural event happen, including our amazing sponsor the APH Office of Violence Prevention, the City of Austin, Austin Police Department, ECHO, the Challenger Program, Safegrowth, our neighborhood associations who also sponsored the event (Gracywoods, NACA, Walnut Creek, Georgian Acres), the Walnut Creek Safety Team, and so many volunteers!


Special thanks to Christian Ninaud, Luzdary Ninaud, Caro Dubois, Missy Haworth, Travis Morgan, Gary Western, Francois Luca, Denisha Augustin, Wes Aycock, Cynthia Ann, Sara Breuer, Tim Mateer, Robert Meadows, Kam Hamid, Ashley Valenzuela, Minerva Keith, Wade and Khotan Harmon, Kay Klumpp, Dorsey and Bunny Twidwell, Monique Vasquez, Monica Guzman, Davi Brown, Ellen Martin, Pierre Nguyen, David Roseboom, and Adrian Paulino!

Photos by:

Eric Scott Photo Meg Seidel


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