Community Engagement

The Valparaiso Community Engagement Department is responsible for cultivating safe, vibrant neighborhoods, building cross-sector partnerships and encouraging diversity and inclusion.  This department can be your resource to learn more about what is happening with the city and opportunities to get involved.  

The Community Engagement Department works across department lines to get results for resident requests, problems and questions.  They coordinate the exchange of information among residents, neighborhood organizations and city staff.  

This department aims to further connect neighborhoods and advance inclusion in our community by building partnerships and uniting people.

Neighborhood Services

It’s a priority to the city that our residents love where they live, work and play. There are a number of resources and supports available to neighborhood groups. The Community Engagement Department is your partner when considering what services would work best for you and what additional services might be helpful for the city to pursue. 

  • Neighborhood Workshops - NEW!Representatives from our neighborhood groups are invited to attend quarterly "Neighborhood Workshops" to connect, learn from each other and become more familiar with available neighborhood services.  We hosted a pilot workshop in 2019 (view summary) and the feedback was to offer them quarterly in 2020 with special guest speakers. SAVE THE DATE (all held from 6pm-7:30pm)!
    • February 4 - Guest speakers Brandon Dickinson and Patrick Lyp will be presenting on Economic Development in Valparaiso.  Neighborhoods will be asked to share stories of success from our Neighborhood Improvement Grant Program. View the summary.
    • April 28 - Building Commissioner, Vicki Thrasher, will share information on City Code Enforcement efforts and best practices for our neighborhoods.  Information will be shared on the 2020 Neighborhood Grant program and how to apply.
    • July 15 - Police Chief Balon and Fire Chief Dutz will share some neighborhood safety tips and discuss neighborhood disaster preparedness and National Night Out.
    • November 3 - Our Public Works Director will provide information on city services including trash pick-up, recycling, street paving, snow plowing and more.  Participants will be asked to weigh in on topics for 2021.
  • Neighborhood Toolkit - View our Neighborhood Toolkit to learn more about organizing a neighborhood group, planning a block party, navigating your local government and ideas to make your neighborhood more engaged, green, safe and healthy.  
  • Neighborhood Directory - Determine a key contact to sign up your neighborhood group to be listed on our city-wide Neighborhood Directory.  The city can also use this information to send you updates on neighborhood programs, services and opportunities!  Sign up your neighborhood group today!
  • Neighborhood Improvement Grant - Funded by the Redevelopment Commission, the Neighborhood Improvement Grant gives neighborhood groups an opportunity to have direct input and influence into the improvement of Valparaiso’s neighborhoods. Learn more.
  • Neighborhood Group Facilitation - Our department can help your neighborhood group determine goals and action steps to reach them. Contact Maggie Clifton to discuss what would work best for your group!
  • Neighborhood Printing Support - Organizing your neighbors requires outreach.  The city will support neighborhoods by offering to design and print certain promotional materials (up to 200 pages total per year).  Think about key events or meetings that you want to bring extra attention to.
  • Neighborhood Walks - Neighborhood Walks allow Mayor Murphyand members of the city’s leadership team to get a better understanding of a neighborhood’s infrastructure and safety needs and consider opportunities for future improvements.  
  • Neighborhood Safety Training - The Valparaiso Fire and Police Departments offer trainings and resources to neighborhood groups looking to enhance their safety practices.  Valparaiso Fire is currently promoting a hands-only CPR certification that is a quick and easy training for neighborhood groups to offer.  Contact us to learn more.
  • Special Programming and Events - Have an idea to bring your neighbors together?  Let’s discuss it!  Past events have included a neighborhood history night and strategic planning support.

Community Outreach Initiatives

  • City Government Academy - The City Government Academy is a free seven-week program that was created to educate residents about their local government. The goal of the CGA is to get more citizens involved as department heads share the behind-the-scenes details of how decisions are made, how dollars are allocated and how services are delivered each day.
  • City Talk Now - Our monthly e-newsletter that offers more information to residents on current projects, events and more.  Subscribe now!
  • Market Meet-Up - Join us at the Valparaiso Market on the first Tuesday of the month from 11am-1pm where we will feature our city departments. We encourage market-goers to meet us at the market to discuss any questions, concerns, ideas or to simply grab a bite and chat.  Learn more and view the full schedule.