September 24, 2021
Salt Lake City has been selected as one of eight U.S. cities to participate in the Cities of Service Love Your Block program and will receive $100,000 to launch a new westside initiative focused on revitalizing the Jordan River Corridor.
The Love Your Block grant program brings City leaders and residents together to build stronger neighborhoods, one block at a time, by spurring neighborhood-driven change. The $100,000 grant will go toward funding one new City fellowship position, and awarding mini-grants to residents and community partners. Salt Lake City will also receive the support of two full-time AmeriCorps VISTA service members.
“Salt Lake City is honored and excited to participate in Love Your Block, which has a proven track record for making meaningful connections between local governments and the communities they serve,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall. “My team has big plans for the funds, including a new initiative that will focus on our City’s beloved Jordan River Corridor.”
The Jordan River Corridor initiative will support westside communities in revitalizing portions of the Jordan River Corridor into vibrant community spaces. Specific projects have yet to be determined, but will focus on empowering housed and unhoused residents to contribute to their neighborhood identity, increase their cultural connection to the natural world and express their stories through landscapes, structures, and placemaking.
The Mayor’s Office along with the Public Lands Department, the Housing Stability Division and other community partners will work together on the initiative. The new Mayor’s Office Love Your Block Fellow position will help coordinate a robust community engagement strategy and meet with community members and local stakeholders to define the most pressing blight-related challenges in Jordan River adjacent neighborhoods.
Applications for the Fellow and AmeriCorps VISTA positions are now being accepted. Those interested in applying can visit https://www.slc.gov/hr/home/job-center/ to apply for the Love Your Block Fellow position or https://my.americorps.gov/ to apply for the VISTA position.
The Urban Institute found that the connections forged between city leaders and residents at the neighborhood level can be one of the most important catalysts for collective action by neighborhood residents. An additional study found that Love Your Block specifically helped cities fight blight by supporting resident-led projects and also formed reciprocal relationships between residents and city hall that helped spur resident-centered innovations in policy and practice.
About Cities of Service
Cities of Service helps mayors build stronger cities by changing the way local government and residents work together. Founded in 2009 by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Cities of Service supports a coalition of more than 280 cities, representing more than 84 million people across the Americas and Europe. Cities of Service is now part of Johns Hopkins University’s efforts to support governments through innovation and evidence-based research. Learn more about Cities of Service at citiesofservice.jhu.edu.