By James Sikorski Jr., PA Advocate NMA
Pennsylvania is the original home for neighborhoods I guess, as this is where Mister Rogers had his show. It did emphasize the good qualities of neighbors. If we fast forward a few years, I have a new idea for the whole country.
Regardless of where you live in America, there is strength in dealing with people who live near you, and whom you have known for years. Also, the friend of a friend concept. You are more likely to trust people you know or who live nearby. The National Motorists Association needs to take advantage of this, but it is the members who must be active in it. I am referring to the social media site Nextdoor.
Nextdoor is social media but unlike Facebook and Twitter, or the others. It allows things like making general posts to a localized area, discussion groups, sending messages, etc. This is useful to NMA members. There are also unrelated things like selling items, events, announcements, etc. You are basically talking to people who live near you. You are not required to setup a profile, nor are you required to make a lot of personal info public. Locally, most people just have bare-bones profiles, so others can just see they are members of the website. I would not push for something without trying it out in-depth, as well as having others try it out.
I want to have NMA members sign up and spend maybe 20 minutes configuring things and checking out the site. I have a detailed email primer prepared that can provide a sample of how to introduce yourself to your local area, tell them about the NMA, and maybe bring up some current topics or action items. We want for people to join the NMA, care about driving issues, and take action to effect change. After the initial posting, you can setup discussion groups, send messages, make additional posts, etc. If people join the NMA, they can take advantage of the many perks we offer. For example, in PA we make extensive use of a private members-only email group and put out a lot of statewide email alerts. So the goal is to get the message out to neighbors, but get them to join the NMA.
This will require very little effort after the initial 20m that you spend setting things up and playing with the site. You can configure the settings to whatever you like, such as activating email notifications, then you only need to sign in to actively perform tasks.
This is not an official NMA project but is being run by a member. You consent to get an email primer, as well as the member inviting you to join Nextdoor. You must then accept the invitation. You may also ask questions. You will not be solicited or have your info shared; it will be used for the purpose of the project.
You can pull up Nextdoor here to check it out, but you will not really be able to see much without joining. To participate, send an email here and ask to be sent the Nextdoor email primer, and an invitation. Watch your spam folder to make sure you get these. The subject line in emails you get should be clear about what these are.
This will make much more sense when you join and read the email primer. This is a great way to promote the NMA, driving issues, get people to take action, and maybe form some lasting friendships with people in your area. There are many non-driving things of interest too that you may like.
For the NMA to succeed long-term, we need to employ modern technology, reach new audiences, and get people to join. This is open to anyone in America; you will just be a part of whatever is occurring in your local area.
Action starts with one person who is willing to stand up and make a difference. You cannot lead from behind. Are you with me? Please be patient, as there may be a lag if thousands of people want to join! First come, first served!