CFF Launched Hello Ferndale!  First Program Featured DDA

(Kat Bruner James, Chair of Citizens for a Fair Ferndale)

On June 21, 2010, Citizens for a Fair Ferndale embarked on a new endeavor: bringing information about our City directly to community members.  Hello Ferndale!, CFF’s newest program, provides an opportunity for the City to explain the basics about a department, employee or program.  In turn, CFF asks questions of the City representative(s) that have been submitted to us as issues that people are eager to know more about. 

This program has been kicking around CFF for nearly a year.  The idea ultimately came from our Candidate Forums, wherein candidates for various local elections are given the opportunity to provide their own statements and answer questions submitted by the audience.  At any given Forum, depending on the “hot” issues at the time, we found ourselves learning so much about our City and our community.  We decided that similar forums focusing on City departments could potentially increase community understanding of City business by leaps and bounds.  Perhaps the City offers services that you didn’t even know existed.  Perhaps citizens have had questions but had no idea to whom they were properly directed.  At any rate, we surely found such a program to be within our mission and in line with our objective.

Hello Ferndale! finally came to fruition under the direction of Francine Hachem.  Francine coordinated with the staff and volunteers from our first program subject, the Ferndale Downtown Development Authority (DDA).  She found us a venue, Blumz…by J.R. Designs.  She also hired Keith Dalton to video record the event to maximize exposure on WFRN and online.

Blumz was an ideal location. They constructed a talk show style set in their back room.  Think Good Morning America, with Mary Schusterbauer playing the part of Diane Sawyer.  Representatives from the DDA gave a 30 minute presentation of the origins of the organization, its funding and structure, the recent Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA), and upcoming events.  Then, for the remaining half, Mary followed up with more specific inquiries.  The entire program is available to view online at

CFF would like to extend our sincere thanks to Blumz for providing the space and to Keith Dalton for his recording and producing services for the video.  Of course, we are very grateful to the DDA for being our guinea pigs.

Watch our website and future publications of this column for our next edition of Hello Ferndale!  We will announce the next subject as early as possible so that anyone can submit potential questions in advance of the event.

Finally, in this column, we have included some photos from this year’s Good Neighbor Awards.  Enjoy!

More CFF events coming up:

CFF is hosting an Open Jazz Jam fundraiser on Sunday, August 22 at Club Bart.  $5 at the door will benefit CFF.  Detroit drummer R.J. Spangler will be performing with his trio, but others are welcome to join in onstage.  Please join us for music and good neighbors!  CFF is also seeking sponsors for this event to cover the cost of entertainment.  Please contact CFF at 248-515-7803 for details.  Donations can also be made at any time, please send to Citizens for a Fair Ferndale, 263 Vester, Ferndale MI 48220. 

The mission of Citizen’s for a Fair Ferndale is to foster a community that is dedicated to the fair and equal treatment of all residents and visitors regardless of sexual orientation, race, color, religion, gender, age, height, weight, familial status, national origin, physical or mental disability.  Our next meeting is Thursday, August 12 at 6:45 p.m.; we are hoping to meet at the Ferndale Library.