The RNNC was founded in 1986, when the City of Louisville, Kentucky, invited several cities within a 400-mile radius to send the local government official responsible for neighborhoods to Louisville. During the two days of meetings, the concept of establishing a regional organization emerged. Attendees decided that the organization would serve a dual purpose. First, it would provide a framework for government officials to collaborate on issues of importance to neighborhoods and others related to managing municipalities. Secondly, member cities would create an environment in which neighborhood leaders could interact with each other about issues they were all facing. The result was an annual RNNC within a five-state region, including Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.
The location of the RNNC rotates to a different member-city each year and continues to provide a forum for neighborhood leaders, municipal staff, elected officials, community development practitioners, service providers and corporations to gather and learn from each other, encounter best practices and gain valuable insight to effect positive change and transformation in their own communities. Champaign’s participation in the RNNC began as a workshop presenter at the 2013 RNNC in Peoria, Illinois. Champaign became a member City of the RNNC in 2014, and through its Neighborhood Coordination Division, has been an active participant in the Regional Steering Committee which governs the Regional Neighborhood Network Conference.