Collective Impact Lincoln report touts neighborhood successes, what’s next

'What Our Neighbors Said' is a comprehensive look back – and ahead – at building up the Star City’s core neighborhoods.


In its first three-plus years, Collective Impact Lincoln has held more than 15,000 deep conversations with residents, supported three dozen neighborhood improvement projects, trained hundreds of new neighborhood leaders, and connected thousands of neighbors to tackle common concerns.

A new report, What Our Neighbors Said, chronicles Collective Impact Lincoln’s work since its launch in leading substantive improvements in six Star City neighborhoods. And while there is plenty for the multi-organization partnership to celebrate, its efforts have only just begun, Director Nancy Petitto said.

Collective Impact Lincoln is an intensive, multi-year partnership between Civic Nebraska, Nebraska Appleseed, and the South of Downtown Community Development Organization. Through canvassing, community events, and Community Builder Workshops, the partnership has helped neighbors examine their communities’ strengths and identify new ways to improve.

“Since 2017, our door-to-door, face-to-face deep-canvassing has led to a wide variety of resident-led undertakings and steady progress,” Petitto said. “But we know that change – real, meaningful change – is a long-term obligation. We’ll be there to continue lifting up and advocating for Lincoln’s core neighborhoods.”

What Our Neighbors Said highlights key themes and issues emerging from Collective Impact Lincoln’s intensive listening sessions among residents in Lincoln’s Belmont, Clinton, Everett, Hartley, Near South, and University Place neighborhoods. The data-rich report also details the partnership’s energies to connect residents and address shared issues. Those topics include neighborhood revitalization, food accessibility, public safety, and social connectedness, among others.

Nancy Petitto

“These concerns do not exist in a vacuum, and all are affected by one core issue: housing affordability,” Petitto said. “Anyone who has followed Collective Impact Lincoln’s efforts over the past few years knows that the future vitality of our core neighborhoods begins and ends with making sure residents have access to safe, adequate, affordable housing.”

In 2021, Collective Impact Lincoln’s priority is to engage with local leaders and departments to raise housing conditions, address problem properties, improve conditions and costs for renters, and increase affordable housing.

The group also will continue to support transformative changes that improve Lincolnites’ quality of life, based on neighbors’ input. Those priorities include:

-> Highlighting the value of the six neighborhoods by emphasizing their assets: good neighbors, affordable homes, and other amenities;

-> Increasing opportunities and entry points for neighbors to connect and work together;

-> Linking policymakers, leaders, and police with neighbors with the goal of proactive communication and engagement; and

-> Working across the six neighborhoods on shared citywide concerns.

See What Our Neighbors Said, and then sign up for the Collective Impact Lincoln mailing list for news, updates, and opportunities to act.

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