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Smart Growth & Social Equity


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Presentation for the New Partners for Smart Growth conference

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Smart Growth & Social Equity

  1. 1. LINKING PLANNING WITH PEOPLE Smart Growth & Social Equity: Lessons In Civic Engagement City of South Gate, CA February 9, 2007 Monica Villalobos Executive Director Land Use & Transportation • Civic Engagement • Public Participation • Public Policy
  2. 2. Civic Engagement in South Gate I Overview of South Gate II General Plan Update III Traditional vs. New Models of Engagement IV Civic Engagement in South Gate V Lessons Learned
  3. 3. City of South Gate Total Population: 103,547 Population Density (Per Sq Mile): 13,090 Area of the City: 7.5 sq miles Proximity to LAX Ports Airports Major Highways Railways Alameda Corridor Confluence of LA River Major Industries: Manufacturing, Industrial, and Logistics Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach
  4. 4. City of South Gate Latino Population: 92.1% Residents under age of 18: 35.6% Average Household Size: 4.2 Average Adjusted Gross Income: $27,510 Unemployment Rate: 10.0% Percentage of Individuals with Housing Cost Burden: 62.1%
  5. 5. South Gate General Plan Update Community Visioning Workshop, 2004 General Plan Update, Phase I, 2006 Extensive Community Outreach and Participatory Planning Stakeholders and City Officials 4 Community Congress Workshops Week-long Community Charrette
  6. 6. Why Social Equity is Important Inclusion and Diversity disenfranchised & immigrant communities Confidence and Accountability historical disengagement different cultural experiences Education Communication Building on and expanding civic traditions
  7. 7. The New Civic Engagement Demographics, Local Interest Groups, Politics Ad-Hoc Organizations Planning and Development
  8. 8. The New Civic Engagement Old Outreach Targets and Methods Stakeholders Business leaders Environmental Organizations Grass Roots Approach Formal and Informal Community networks Civic clubs Parent and Educational Groups Youth and Sports organizations Average Citizens!!
  9. 9. The Why and How of Civic Engagement? WHY Power of citizen groups Accountability Civic Empowerment Participatory Democracy HOW Commitment Consistency Cultural Competency Imagination 6 Steps to Meaningful Engagement
  10. 10. 6 Steps towards Meaningful Engagement 1. Go beyond Collateral 2. Get to know what really matters to residents 3. Build a local network 4. Trust and Rapport are essential 5. Publicity matters 6. Make it interactive, get community buy-in
  11. 11. Go Beyond Collateral Seek out participants of: Religious Institutions Youth Sports and organization Educational organizations City Wide Events Ad-hoc political groups Civic Clubs Senior clubs Schools The important thing is to be active in the community and engage people in one-on-one conversations
  12. 12. What really matters to residents… Education Local Businesses Government Accountability Neighborhood Issues Public Safety You are a resource, know where to refer residents who have particular concerns
  13. 13. Build a Local Network Get to know local leaders Stakeholder Interviews City Council Interviews General Plan Advisory Committee Build a Resident Database Sign up’s at Community Meetings Tabling at Community Events Coffee Klatches Follow up and Follow thru Build your own network of local residents, participants, and leaders. Communication is key.
  14. 14. Trust and Rapport Acknowledge Resident Concerns Addressing Immediate Needs Distrust or Deceit Hot button issues Listen and Learn Serve as a Reference City Services City Officials Get out and get involved Involve yourself in the life of the community
  15. 15. Publicity Matters Collateral Information Sharing Schools, Churches, Civic Institutions Media Relations Community Hot Spots Corner Stores, Coffee Shops and levandarias (laundry mats) Show up at local events Promote Accomplishments Publicize events in traditional and non- traditional ways
  16. 16. Get the Community Involved Participatory Planning Inform them of the process Make it Engaging Workshops Interactive Exercises Small Group Conversations Informal Discussions Cultural and Linguistic Competency Solicit Input, revise plans and report back Make the planning process participatory and interactive. Give residents a record of the process
  17. 17. Outcomes Cities/Agencies- A more informed and involved citizenry Proponents and supporters of Smart Growth Broader civic participation Residents- Sense of empowerment Greater understanding of city and planning processes Information to advocate for change
  18. 18. Lessons Learned Every community is different Meaningful engagement takes commitment Don’t underestimate the importance of inclusion Stick to what works, while being creative and flexible Show them the fruits of their labor Create a legacy that goes beyond the life of the project
  19. 19. LINKING PLANNING WITH PEOPLE Smart Growth & Social Equity: Lessons In Civic Engagement City of South Gate, CA February 9, 2007 Monica Villalobos Executive Director Land Use & Transportation • Civic Engagement • Public Participation • Public Policy