Co-Creating Lasting Neighborhood Pride

August 4, 2015

Meet Rochelle Monk, Chief Service Officer, City of Richmond


ochelle Monk is one of several Chief Service Officers serving cities across the country in partnership with Cities of Service. Ms. Monk works for the City of Richmond, California where she assists City Hall with  various community engagement projects, its high-impact service plans and the implementation of Cities of Service Blueprints.

 “I enjoy connecting resident volunteers to meaningful long-term service opportunities,” Rochelle said. “I am passionate about inspiring people and always looking for creative, innovative ways to get things done. (If I had another job), I would like to be a high school counselor or a social entrepreneur; I can see myself doing well in those jobs.”

What’s been your most memorable day on the job? Why?

“One of my most memorable days was when I learned our impact volunteering program successes were featured in former Mayor Gayle McLaughlin’s State of the City report.  She highlighted the work of volunteers who helped improve the lives of high school and elementary school students.  She also shared our broader work,motivating residents to volunteer in other areas of the Richmond community. It was a kind gesture on her part and completely unexpected.” (CoS: It also goes to show how important impact volunteering is to the city’s success.)

What advice would you give to other community leaders who want to tackle neighborhood blight?

It’s important to make the connection with the neighborhood residents you’re serving. Tackling blight isn’t just picking up trash or asking residents to plant a few garden boxes.  In most cases, I have to get to know the neighborhood and residents (how long they’ve lived in the community, how many children they have, up to even the last movie they watched).  You have to genuinely care about the community.  Chief Service Officers also work side-by-side with the residents as they improve their communities. These connections lead to stronger and sincere relationships that create long- lasting neighborhood pride.

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