Community Engagement Report
A new Community Engagement Report, which reviews and summarizes a variety of reports and recommendations on the City’s current community engagement system and activities, is now available for public review and comment.
The City Council plans to discuss the Community Engagement report early in 2007. I encourage you to review this report and get your comments in as soon as possible to Clara Perrin, Community Engagement Coordinator.
It was brought to my attention that the timing of the comment period was just about the worst possible - releasing the report in late November and asking for comments by the beginning of January, coinciding with the holiday season. Many neighborhood organizations skip their December meetings, or hold more celebratory and less business-focused gatherings, or conduct annual meetings whose agendas are already full enough without a discussion of the City's Community Engagement Report.
I forwarded these concerns to Steven Bosacker, the City Coordinator, along with my opinion that we should extend the comment period until at least the end of January, to make sure we have offered a real opportunity for community input. I heard back this afternoon that the comment period has been pushed back until early mid February, which is great news.
I'm excited about the prospects for this discussion, early next year. Specifically, I am eager to tie this report on how the City engages its residents to the larger and thornier discussion of the future of the Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP). NRP is slated to run out of money in 2009, and the current Council will need to lay out the plan for future funding.
I believe that the City relies to a great extent on our neighborhood groups, and that NRP has been instrumental in helping them build their capacity to effectively work for their (and our) residents. The loss of NRP funding poses a very real threat to these organizations, and the City stands to lose all the tremendous progress we've made.
I am convinced that we need an ongoing City commitment to support, maintain and improve our neighborhood groups. This means allocating resources.
I look forward to getting this discussion going. Please send in your comments to the report, both to Clara and to me, and stay tuned.