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Rock Island’s 7th ward combines block party and ward meeting to large turnout

Rock Island city officials have a new idea to better reach their citizens – and it’s working well so far.

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois -- The City of Rock Island has an alternative idea to get more people to come to community meetings.

The 7th ward of Rock Island simultaneously held their annual block party and a ward meeting in the same place on the evening Saturday, September 14th.

City officials, such as the clerk, manager, and chief spoke to the crowd about local issues and took question from the partygoers. They say this decision has resulted in the highest turnout they've ever had for such a meeting due to its more informal nature.

7th Ward Alderman Dave Greenen says that this format is more comfortable to the average citizen and also attracts parents who are busy with their kids in the evenings who couldn't otherwise make it to formal community meetings.

After the success of this event, the City of Rock Island is encouraging more communities to invite local officials to informal events to get in better touch.