Residents of Jackson Square and Bailey Heights met Thursday, July 14 to discuss reinstating their community improvement organization since going inactive during the pandemic.
Acting Secretary Gwendolyn Hardison-Davis stated that the association’s immediate priority is to become recognized by the Louisiana Secretary of State as a 501(c)(3) organization. She indicated the paperwork could be finalized and submitted within the week. The new designation would allow the organization to obtain tax exempt status.
President Chris Petite and Vice-President Maria Mangum recited the articles of incorporation to the assembly before Mangum suggested increasing annual dues to reflect rising prices since they were originally set in 1998. Members also discussed plans to extend the organization’s reach to welcome residents from the Breda Town community in northwest Natchitoches into the association.
Petite and Mangum then introduced the goals their group seeks to advance in west Natchitoches: reduction of blight, neighborhood beautification, youth mentorship and neighborhood watch involvement.
Members shared information about local residents who have mentored youth or expressed interest in youth mentorship. Among the members present, School Board members Dorothy McGaskey and Tan’Keia Palmer stressed the need to provide better opportunities for students who are currently not reached by other organizations.
Mangum and Petite also introduced the idea of hosting a gala to celebrate the association’s renewed prospects. Originally conceived as a free event, McGaskey pointed to the cost involved to stress the importance of charging admission to contribute funds for the organization’s goals. Association members agreed to resume discussions at a later date.
The next meeting is Aug. 11 at First Baptist Church on Amulet Street.