A Call to Leadership – Get Involved

What a privilege it has been to be a participant in this year’s Aurora Leadership Academy. The past six weeks have been thought provoking, motivational, and inspiring. We have had presentations on a variety of topics, such as social service, equity, diversity, and sustainability, each of which have left me thinking about leadership in a new way. This past week was no exception.

We had the opportunity to meet with the City of Aurora’s Deputy Mayor, Chuck Nelson, who shared with us his wealth of experience as a local government leader. I appreciated his perspective on the meaningful role that local government plays in quality of life. He talked about how our perception of the world is what we see outside our front window. The question that resonated with me most: If the view out your window is not what you would like to see, is there an opportunity to become more informed about what you can do to change it?

Mr. Nelson shared with us how this has been demonstrated in the City of Aurora. Years ago many people were displeased with the high crime rates throughout the city, so residents mobilized within their districts by working with their Alderman to learn what they could do to reduce crime in Aurora. As a result, Neighborhood Watch groups were formed. These groups were established throughout the city’s districts in collaboration with the Mayor’s office and had a significant impact on reducing crime. Mr. Nelson said some of the Neighborhood Watch groups were comprised of hundreds of residents, and many of the groups still meet to this day.

The people in these communities exhibited leadership by deciding to take action rather than idly watch their community continue to be afflicted by the ongoing crime issues. They worked with the leaders of their local government to find out what they could do that could make a difference. We can all answer the call to serve as leaders in our own communities by making the choice to get involved in the issues that our community faces. By getting involved we become more informed and can work together to bring effective change to improve the community we serve.

Claire Johnson is the manager of Planning & Business Development at Rush Copley Medical Center, a 210-bed community hospital in Aurora. She lives in Downers Grove with her husband, Andrew, and their dog, Bear. While she is a resident of Downers Grove, she has thoroughly enjoyed learning more about the community she works in as a participant in the 2018 Leadership Academy presented by the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce.

One Response to “A Call to Leadership – Get Involved”

  1. Yolanda Dunn says:

    Community involvement plays an important role in making a difference with what we see outside our windows! Born and raised in Aurora, crime was high in the 90′s due to gang activity. To see the progress and the change now is very refreshing. Aurora is a city that is thriving!