As a past candidate for Santa Rosa City Council in November (I ceased my campaign in late September for a myriad of reasons) and a person who has had to learn a lot about Measure Q in Santa Rosa (District Elections), I found the article linked below to be a perfect example of how to make our communities BETTER! A quote from the article: “We need to get better at community outreach and engagement because we still have a lot of traction to gain at the local level.” (http://bettercities.net/article/want-better-communities-engage-them-better-19084)
Also, as someone who has attended many public meetings (for projects, to show support or opposition) without any cause but to be a part of my COMMUNITY, the author also says “Show up. Don’t wait for a meeting, or an invitation, or for someone else who was going to arrange a conversation. Call them now, meet them now…” Our community members, YOU, need to get engaged. Why, you may ask? Because you don’t want to be on the receiving end of something that you don’t agree with. Many times, our community only pulls together for certain, specific issues – that is not community. It is responding to an issue because of great like or dislike – yes during that time you may meet your neighbors and continue a relationship, but, what I have found to be ever so successful is community engagement. Be ENGAGED in your community through neighborhood meetings, community meetings, public meetings, etc. Don’t just wait for something to smack you across the face after it has already been approved.
There are many ways to do so, and I’ll list some ideas for our local community (Santa Rosa), but the City you live in should have very similar resources for you to learn about:
Community Engagement: http://ci.santa-rosa.ca.us/departments/cityadmin/communityengagement/Pages/default.aspx
Email Newsletters: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/CASANTA/subscriber/new?topic_id=CASANTA_75&pop=t (Santa Rosa)
Public Meetings: http://ci.santa-rosa.ca.us/government/Pages/default.aspx
Neighborhood Groups (where is your neighborhood?): http://ci.santa-rosa.ca.us/departments/cityadmin/communityengagement/Pages/Neighborhoods.aspx
Join a Board or Commission: http://ci.santa-rosa.ca.us/government/boards/Pages/default.aspx
To close, a better community starts with YOU! In order to be a vibrant, active, engaged community, the community needs YOU! Get involved!