China: Jun Li

I think according to the ideas of the masses, I respond to the requests of the masses, I act according to the needs of the masses, I extend help to the masses.

— Jun Li

Li Jun is secretary of the Party Committee and director of the Yongfeng Neighborhood Committee, Shenyang City, Liaoning Province. Her longstanding and selfless community work has brought substantial changes to this urban neighborhood. Not only have her efforts helped to improve the electricity and water supply, but community relationships have also been regenerated. Even though she fell critically ill due to such hard work, she did not stop.

Before she took early retirement and committed herself to the community development work, Li Jun had worked for four decades and had been promoted from an ordinary salesperson to a leadership position. In March 1999 she retired from the leadership of the regional technical coordination office, and chose to serve the local community by taking up the responsibility of "premier of the alley." However, the reality of the situation put her under severe strain. Yongfeng community is an old urban residential area with many things in a shambolic state. The area was inhabited by elderly people and laborers. As newly elected director of the neighborhood committee, she immediately became the undeserved target of the residents' anger. But she was determined to gain their understanding and support and she persevered and succeeded in solving community problems. For instance, a malfunctioning heating system had affected 477 households and residents had protested time and again. This came to Li's notice and she and a group of cadres and party members of the community visited all households in the area to motivate them to help. Her enthusiasm, sincerity and patience eventually touched their hearts. In less than a month, she had collected 300,000 yuan for improving the heating system. The money was handed over, work began immediately and the project was completed. Among her many other projects, Li has called for donations for a community resident with a malignant tumor, arranged funerals for poor families, sought reemployment opportunities for unemployed workers, and organized activities for a relief program for tsunami victims in South Asia. No matter how serious or small the problem is, she is eager to help, and this has made her neighborhood a better place to live in.

Yongfeng Neighborhood Committee