Every morning in the Bond neighborhood is a morning worth never forgetting. The neighborhood that surrounds Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University may have fallen on hard times, but it remains rich in culture.
FAMU professor Christopher Daniels is on a mission to preserve that culture.
“It’s a historic neighborhood,” Daniels said. “Back in the day, that’s (Bond neighborhood) where all the people who used to work at FAMU lived … it was a prestigious area.”
As a graduate of FAMU and a Bond neighborhood resident, Daniels has partnered with the Greater Bond Community Action Team to turn the Greater Bond Neighborhood First plan into reality. Their goal is to revive the lost luster the Bond area once enjoyed.
“There should be places to eat, places to sit down and have coffee,” Daniels said. “Maybe even a club or something small like (a) spoken word place – entertainment. There should be something right there close to the campus where you can just walk.
“You shouldn’t have to go all the way across town to have fun or go out to eat with your friends,” he added. “That is what we’re trying to bring to that area.”
A Cincinnati native, Daniels’ connection to FAMU goes deeper than just being a political science professor. As a graduate of FAMU and former student-athlete, Daniels advocates for improving the state of Bond.
“This neighborhood is a reflection of FAMU,” Daniels said. “To keep the dignity of our university, the neighborhood behind it has to be nice.”
The Greater Bond Neighborhood First plan is a multi-year initiative for redeveloping the greater Bond area and involves four key components: community beautification, economic development and resident empowerment, land use, and neighborhood crime prevention.
“As a long-time south side resident, I’m proud of the proactive efforts of my neighbors,” said City Commissioner and City Redevelopment Association chairman Curtis Richardson in his published opinion piece. “A bond with Bond: CRA adopts Neighborhood First Plan.”
“Tallahassee is a city made up of hundreds of neighborhoods, each with its own unique vibe. Our neighborhoods are the places where we choose to purchase homes, invest our time and energy, raise our children and grow thriving careers. Each of us plays a part in ensuring they continue to reflect our values and community pride.”
After proposing the plan in December 2018, the CRA has officially granted $500,000 to the Greater Bond Community Action Team to begin implementing smaller kickoff projects within the proposal.
“It’s an exciting project. It’s something where the progress is going to be tremendous. There’s a lot of things in place, we just have to keep the government accountable,” Daniels said.
“The biggest things we need in this neighborhood are more businesses, more good quality housing, and we need people to buy in and believe in it. I think more people will buy in and believe in the neighborhood if they volunteer and spend more time here.”
For more information on the Greater Bond Neighborhood First plan visit http://www.talgov.com/neighborhoodservices/neighborhoodfirst.aspx