SB Chamber celebrates grand opening of Neighborhood Service Center

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Photo Ricardo Tomboc: (L-R) Amelia Lopez, Sean Kelly, and Jan Windhausen serve on the Neighborhood Association Council committee that worked on the Neighborhood Service Center and the Neighborhood Leadership Academy.
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On Thursday September 12th, the San Bernardino Area Chamber of Commerce held a Ribbon Cutting to celebrate the grand opening of the Neighborhood Service Center (NSC) formed in partnership by the City of San Bernardino and the Neighborhood Association Council to combine the services of the SB Direct Call Center and that of the Neighborhood Association of San Bernardino. The NEC is located on the first floor of the Vanir Tower. 

The event began with the Presentation of Colors by the San Bernardino Police Explorers Honor Guard. 

Photo Ricardo Tomboc: Amelia Lopez, Neighborhood Association Council, and Mayor John Valdivia, cut the ceremonial ribbon.

During the Opening Ceremony Mayor John Valdivia addressed guests and participants in the lobby of the new NSC.  Mayor Valdivia introduced Amelia Lopez, President of the Neighborhood Association Council.  Lopez introduced the Neighborhood Services Program and the new partnership with the City of San Bernardino and the SB Direct Call Center.   

Lopez received several Certificates of Recognition on behalf of the Neighborhood Association Council from the City of San Bernardino Mayor and Council, Congressman Pete Aguilar, State Assemblymember Mike Morrell, State Assemblymember James Ramos, and SB County Supervisor Josie Gonzales.

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During the presentation Lopez outlined how the new Neighborhood Leadership Academy would empower residents and business owners to get involved in their community by providing training to build knowledge and skills to support leadership in the community. 

In a Facebook post, Mayor Valdivia stated, “We are happy to announce the opening of the Neighborhood Services Program available in the Call Center near City Hall at 290 N D St! The Neighborhood Association Council is now beginning the first annual Neighborhood Leadership Academy that will provide skills towards effective leadership, working with city government, strategies for healthy communities, grant writing and community projects, inspiring community actions and more!”

According to the NSC event program, “The NSC will serve as a central location to connect residents, neighborhood associations and business owners with information on city services and programs; and support and encourage the development of neighborhood associations and other community groups, provide information on community events, supplies equipment for holding successful community meetings, and serve as a central location for information.”

The NSC event program also stated that “The Matching Grant Program provides funding for DIY community projects. This program supports the development of resident-led and neighborhood-based community projects to enhance the quality of life in communities, while bringing together efforts and resources of residents, city departments, private and non-profit agencies.  The partnership fosters a spirit of self-reliance and promotes positive images of San Bernardino Neighborhoods.” 

After the opening introductions and speeches, participants were invited to take part in the Ribbon Cutting ceremony conducted by the San Bernardino Area Chamber of Commerce (SBACC).  Both Amelia Lopez and Mayor John Valdivia held the ceremonial SBACC ribbon-cutting scissors.  As the crowd proclaimed, “It’s a Great Day in San Bernardino,” the ribbon was cut, and the crowd acknowledged the beginning of a new alliance.   

The Neighborhood Association Council organizes and supports all of the Neighborhood Associations of which there are at least 23 active in the City of San Bernardino.  Each Association has its own president who serves on the Neighborhood Association Council.  The Mission of the SB Neighborhood Association Council is to “Bring neighbors together to become informed and empowered, to work to gather to improve the quality of life in the neighborhood.” 

At the end of the ceremony, the young men and ladies from the “Pacers of San Bernardino Drum Corps” gave a spectacular presentation with the drum and drill team marching in front of the Vanir Tower and the old City Hall building.  

For more information on the NSC, Neighborhood Association Council, or your local Neighborhood Association, you may send an e-mail inquiry to nacsbcal@gmail.com or call 909-266-6377, 909-951-237-3016 or call the SB Direct Call Center at 909-384-7272.  Neighborhood Association information can also be found on the San Bernardino’s website at SBCity.org – type “Neighborhood” in the search box.

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