Tacoma’s stars of community activism took their hard-won wisdom to the annual Neighborhoods, USA (NUSA) conference last month in Little Rock, Ark. Hilltop Action Coalition’s Jeanie Peterson and city manager Eric Anderson presented a workshop on the city’s Tidal Wave program.
This time, Elton Gatewood, Neighborhood Council Coordinator for Tacoma’s Community and Economic Development Department was the supernova in that galaxy of people who are making the world more livable a block at a time. Gatewood is president of NUSA, America’s largest non-profit dedicated to building and strengthening neighborhood organizations.
As president, he introduced former President Bill Clinton, who gave the keynote address. And he presented Clinton with an award honoring his work to strengthen neighborhoods through the Clinton Foundation and during his terms in office.
As anyone who has worked with Gatewood on an innovative grant or a neighborhood council issue, knows, Clinton had the pleasure of meeting one of the most dedicated, intelligent and gracious organizers on the planet.
“It was an honor to meet him,” Gatewood said of Clinton. “I didn’t know what to expect initially, but he was very personable and made me feel very comfortable. All in all, it was a very productive conference.”