Strategy 7. Changing the Image

Goal: To create and maintain a set of positive perceptions about the Greater Northeast Spokane area intended to improve quality of life and healthy growth conditions for residents and the local economy.  Notes in [brackets] indicate the Strategy Committee areas with whom this “Image” Committee would work to improve the specific issue.)


7.1  Objective: Give people the opportunity to discuss the image of Hillyard.  GHNEPA residents carry a preconceived image, based on history and others’ perceptions of their neighborhoods.  The community should address specific issues, give positive examples contradicting the predetermined views people have, taking action to prove the issues are or can be, resolved.



7.1.1 Neighborhood Picnics.   We give this our top priority.  As a major part of our effort to get the residents of Hillyard more involved in our community, these picnics are the backbone of this effort. We propose to divide the Greater Hillyard area in to four parts, and have a neighborhood picnic in each area.  The objectives of the picnics are to Get the people in the neighborhoods to mingle with each other Show them what resources they have available Increase the participation in groups such as block watch program. Strategy Committee 7 should be in charge and Strategy Committees 4, 3 and 1 should be involved.


7.2 Objective:  To increase Communication and Awareness.  Create a public relations committee. This effort should have its own committee headed by committee 7, with support from every other Strategic Committee so we can give them the most help possible.


7.2.1 The public relations committee will be responsible for helping other committees and organizations with Events Getting “the Word” out to the public, Developing a “Did you know” campaign about Hillyard, [such as: “Did you know that in 1907 Hillyard was the most prosperous part of Spokane?”] Putting the “did you know…” facts on signs around Greater Hillyard. We would find some 30 such facts and get the radio stations to say them] Keeping newspapers informed of good stories about what is happening in Hillyard Providing Welcome packets of information to “new move-ins” to Hillyard. [committees  2, 5, & 7] Providing realtors with packets of information about resources and opportunities in Hillyard including invitations to be on various clubs or committees.  (see also comments, below) Providing this same information to Welcome wagon businesses


7.3 Objective: Develop a Skateboard day and competition. [Committees 7,5,4,1 and youth committee] This event would be in conjunction with other events such as Hillyard Festival or Volksmarch (see below) or any of the other events we may plan on doing. It would include:

7.3.1 A workshop on skateboarding (how to do certain tricks etc..) given by local expert,

7.3.2 An hour or so of free skate time

7.3.3 A competition like x-games using our park.

7.3.4. All events would include the skate boarding youth and adults as a part of the committees that makes this happen, so that

they would take over the full responsibility for the event, which could become a nationally-ranked activity with full community help.


7.4 Objective:  Create a Volksmarch- We want to make this happen in 2011. We feel it needs its own committee supported by Strategy Teams #1, #5, and other community organizationsThe Volksmarch is an organized run/walk that is designed to bring in people from elsewhere and have them experience our area. Volksmarch finds routes through areas that give participants a taste of that area. There is already a Lilac City Volksmarch organization, so this project would not be one started from scratch.


7.4.1 Focus in Greater Hillyard, on our historical district and perhaps some of our parks including Esmeralda,

7.4.2 Rocky (see “Mascot,” below) could be in the march.

Start the Volksmarch as a part of another activity to bring more people to both activities.

7.4.3 “Did you know signs” (see entry, above) along the way.

7.4.4 Merchants could offer some kind of specials during that day to people in the march, or other participants or spectators

7.4.5 Tie it to programs promoting exercise, and get the kids, youth groups, and health organizations involved.


7.5 Objective:  To Erect Signs in new garden areas. [Committee 3 should take charge and Teams 7 & 1 should be involved.]  Working with the “Clean and green committee” we will


7.5.1 Promote neighborhood and businesses’ involvement in the “clean and green processes, and then

7.5.2 Put up signs in areas where easy care flowers have been planted to spruce up weedy neglected area. The signs will say something about beautifying Hillyard and “thank you”s for the businesses that paid for the flowers to be planted.


7.6 Objective: To increase participation in block watch programs. [Work with Committees 3, 4, 6 and 10] The block watch program is a good way for neighbors to get to know each other while providing an extremely valuable service to our community. Having a highly functional block watch program will cause problem individuals to move to areas not so well protected. We propose helping to chase crime away from our area by Ramping up participation in the Block program through

7.6.1 Supportive Publicity and news comment across the neighborhoods and,

7.6.2 Emphasizing Block Watch activities in the picnics (proposed earlier)

7.6.3 Designing and posting “Block Watch” recruiting posters in public areas

7.6.4 Setting up a chain system of telephone calls to the COPS shop or to local police about crimes small and large.

7.6.5 Encouraging and having alarm systems in place.


7.7 Objective: To strengthen the Graffiti Patrol. [Strategy Committees 4,2,1,5]  We understand there is already a graffiti patrol in this area (part of the COPS NE Program). We would like to increase the number of people in it and if possible be more than just a reporting organization but actually have the people and the tools to eliminate the graffiti. We would work with the COPS shop and existing graffiti patrol.

7.8 Objective: To establish a Litter Patrol.  [Strategy Committees 4, 2, 1, 5].  The Cleaning and Greening Strategy Committee (Team 3) should take the lead on this but our job as the “Image Committee” is to help them to promote and market their efforts.  We recommend working within existing organizations to:


7.8.1 Create more litter awareness,

7.8.2 Increase efforts to pick up litter and

7.8.3 Find ways to prevent litter.  We believe that if we put out “no littering signs” and encourage people to report littering, this will reduce the tendency that some people have to toss their litter on the ground.


7.9 Objective: Develop a CLEAN TEAM.


7.9.1 Recognized locally for spearheading cleanup events and activities, and

7.9.2 Gets rewarded with a discounts card to participating merchants and events.


7.10 Objective: Form a Code violation patrol.  [Committees 4, 2, 1, 5]  Form a group of volunteers that would dedicate a couple of hours a month to survey the Greater Hillyard areas for Spokane City Code violations.  This patrol would go through the provided channels to report these violations and would send a report every month until the problem has been taken care of. “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” Stated current areas of stakeholder concern include:

7.10.1 Junk cars in street

7.10.2. Too much junk in yards

7.10.3. Buildings in state of disrepair


7.11 Objective: Develop Support for School Activities.  Past local history has contributed to a state of non-participation and a lack of community involvement by many GHNEPA public school students.  We desire to show the community and students that there is a valuable relationship, and that we all want to share and promote it.


7.11.1 Allow students the ability to show Hillyard pride. Obstacle: Personal opinions of members of authority. Murals on walls, by elementary, middle and high schools, graffiti artists and others. [Committee 3]  We propose inviting kids from schools and people from our community to paint murals on walls of buildings that need some help with paint or appearance. We would get a volunteer who is knowledgeable about doing this to make sure they are done well. Invite graffiti artists to create and display murals.  The principle is that if “real art” appears in a local venue, it discourages by comparison inferior vandalism.  This idea has worked in many other cities. Gold club for Rogers High School-[Should be a part of activities of the education and youth committees, Strategy 8, improving education, and in recommendations below]. 

We recommend establishing a gold club with tee shirts and certain membership privileges [such as special discounts at participating merchants etc.]  These gold club members would work with the high school booster club to bring more people to games, and they would work with cheerleaders to be a part of a raucous organized cheering such as you see in Gonzaga basketball games.


7.12 Objective: Bring artwork into area.  [Refer to Recommendation, above].  We recommend the following initiatives as public art that will provide local identity and improve community connectedness and pride.


7.12.1 Establish a Mural showing evolution of RR in Hillyard from beginning to the future. [Committees 1,7]  The first part would be the earliest engine that was used and then each car would be the next generation of cars up to the present and then an artist rendition of cars in the future.  Under this could be the words in the example, (…Or something like that.)


7.12.2 Establish a series of signs for different cultures in our area. [Committee 5]  One would be a sign post with arrows pointing to different countries and giving the approximate distance (see example), and underneath the sign, something descriptive about that group of people.

7.13 Objective: Set up a program to ask for similar communities in different countries to be Greater Hillyard’s “sister cities.” Get these cities from the people in our area from that country (Hispanic populations, Russian, Ukrainian, Korean, Vietnamese and so on).


7.14 Objective: Put up “Welcome to Hillyard” signs at the main entry points into greater Hillyard. [Committee 5 with support from 7] The signs should encourage people to stop and check us out. We could have names of business on these signs. This is just a crude example of what might be.

Businesses could pay a fee to be on other small signs attached to a larger sign to support the project.  Eventually, we could have an electric sign that could have different messages about events etc…

This could also say “Home of the Hillyard Festival” “…Hispanic Festival”, “…Chalk Art Walk,” and so on, with the annual events and approximate dates.

Note: A range of Stakeholder inputs identified “Welcome Signs” as a relatively high priority for contributing to community identification and as a basis for community pride.  This initiative bears serious and fairly rapid adoption and execution.


7.15 Objective: Establish Bulletin Boards in stores and public areas announcing events in Hillyard. [Strategy Committee 5]  Approach businesses about their supplying a bulletin board for us to put up notices of Hillyard events.


7.16 Objective: Get youth involved in community activities. This initiative needs its own committee, partly made up of youth. [With support from Committee 7].  Working through church, school, after school, sports programs, youth resource organizations and other groups, we could develop projects that the area’s youth would be willing to participate in…especially if we feed them pizza afterwards. Getting youth to feel more connected to the community through public service helps them take ownership of our community. Getting the projects done is a benefit to the community. We would also ask certain youth to become involved in already established associations and committees that are now populated only by adults. Getting the youth to be a part of the planning will serve us in the future.  Actions: Although we would be fully in support of promoting and advertising these kinds of activities the effort deserves its own committee and orientation from key members of the community.  We propose that future community planning organization and efforts act decisively to add these kinds of youth-inclusive activities as a key part of any community planning.


7.16.1 Support youth in school activities. [Youth committee, Strategy Committees 7,5 & 8]  Getting our community to the local high school and middle school sporting events, plays, musical events and other such activities brings more excitement to these events; this will cause more kids to get more involved in such activities. A jam packed theater or a gym filled with fans bring energy and pride to a school.  There are many ways to market these activities to get the community more involved. There are already in place booster clubs and alumni groups to whom we can bring ideas, new members and support.  Reorganization of the Greater Hillyard Community needs to include youth-focused activities, which implies a greater involvement of the local schools in the local community organizations, and vice-versa.  We must close the separation that now exists between the community and its schools.

7.17 Objective: Institutionalize a Mascot for Hillyard. [People like this idea but not as a high priority. Committee 7] Our suggestion is a goat named Rocky. Most of the time Rocky would be wearing a railroad outfit of overalls, cap and red bandana. We might have different outfits for Rocky such as a pirate outfit for Rogers High activities, a runner outfit for Bloomsday types of events and even a suit for city meetings. Rocky would show up at any city-wide event representing Hillyard, public events in Hillyard and would go to the grade schools and events with young kids.


Rocky’s main messages are “Pride in Hillyard,” “fighting crime” and “Stay in School.”  We could make a series of posters with these messages on them. We could write silent skits for Rocky that would get across these messages.


We could send Rocky out into the greater Spokane area to support other groups’ efforts against crime. If we put our heads to it we can find valuable ways to use this mascot to achieve some of the goals we have for Hillyard. We would have a whole group of people be Rocky and go to the different events.


7.18 Objective: Promoting ethnic groups’ activities. We propose forming a separate planning committee made up of people of different cultures; perhaps headed by Team 7 supported by Team 5.  We recommend forming this “multi-cultural involvement committee” as a subset of the planning efforts in the community. They would ask these groups of people to have someone in their community join our committees and offer to promote through our infrastructure the events these groups sponsor.


7.19 Objective: Educate realtors on changes about what is going on positively in Hillyard (street paving, property updating, activities and pride).


7.19.1 Try to get real estate knowledge out for and with us.

7.19.2. Try to get realtors to work together on getting businesses and homes sold in Hillyard.

 Note: Although the Image Committee considered this input separately, we did not make specific recommendations, since we believe the increased activities will both involve the realty community and will be obvious from other changes in the community’s progress in other aspects of public relations.  Specific recommendations were not considered necessary.


7.20 Objective: Launch Antiques Business Marketing Workshops.  A series of workshops provided free of charge to antique store owners and businesses dealing with historical Hillyard. The purpose of the marketing workshops is to show these people how to make Hillyard the antique destination of the Inland Northwest. A group of volunteer marketing people will teach these workshops. Note:  This initiative is already under consideration along with a number of other commerce-improving suggestions undertaken by the Greater Hillyard Business Association.  Since essentially the same persons in that organization are involved in this committee, we merely concur with the stakeholder’s comments, while we participate and encourage the suggestion’s success in the GHBA.


7.21 Some Pithy Stakeholder Observations:

7.21.1 “Celebrate Hillyard’s rough edges, don’t try to totally change it (like Pioneer Square or Prescott, don’t make a new Leavenworth): Note: Strategy Team 7 explicitly took this approach in crafting our Actions and in developing the ideas included in this section.  We agree with the stakeholder.

7.21.2. “Right of way clean-up, city exposure to address.” Note: This stakeholder input was specifically addressed as a part of actions, above.

7.21.3 “Not inventing wheel,” suggesting ideas from successful image strategies from other neighborhoods. Note: Strategy Team 7 agrees with this stakeholder observation, and has attempted to follow this premise in our recommendations.

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