David Rutherford's blog post today is required reading for anyone who wants a better city.
Regarding community involvement, I just came across a 2012 online guide to forming and keeping up a block association. I'm trying to find out whether there is still an active city support group for block associations, but meanwhile see the block association guide here.
Please note the pages are out of order. It looks like it can be printed and collated. I don't know whether the booklet exists in City Hall or the Police Department.
Many of the active block association leaders have passed on, such as John Hayes and Melvin Cody. Plainfield has changed a lot in the past decade and new challenges, such as language barriers, have emerged. Old barriers such as absentee landlords and high mobility of renters remain.
I will update when I find out the current status of the Plainfield United Block Association.