Public Involvement

The Aloha-Reedville Public Involvement Report is now available.

 

Engaging historically under-represented community members.

Community members engage in various levels of participation to influence decisions that ultimately affect their community. The decision to become involved can be the result of not getting or understanding the information, not seeing a way to add their opinion, not being interested in an issue, or not understanding how their input can change an outcome.

Evidence suggests that low-income, immigrant, or minority community members, renters, the youth and the elderly tend not to participate in community planning efforts. The Aloha-Reedville Study public involvement consultants and project team continue working to provide opportunities to be involved in this process.

Community-wide events offer refreshments and child care/activities to make the events more family-friendly. Translation is provided as well as key information is contextually translated in Spanish. Events try to span the time to attend between late-afternoon and early evening and presentations are kept brief to allow time for questions from attendees.

Project team members attend local organizations' meetings, host neighborhood coffees and are available to chat one-on-one. The community is provided opportunity to host your own meetings and share results with the project team (Meetings In A Box) and a variety of approaches are used to allow everyone a chance to provide input such as the BUILT game.

In addition two organizations have been recruited to help with outreach, leadership training and involvement. Centro Cultural de Washington County provides invaluable communications with our Spanish-speaking community members (www.centrocultural.org) and The Center for Intercultural Organizing (www.interculturalorganizing.org) leads the coordination of several community organizations and provides leadership development and capacity building with the following groups:

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Community Alliance of Tenants (CAT) advocates for renter's rights and responsibilities.
Organizing People, Activating Leaders (OPAL) advocating for environmental justice
Oregon Somali Family Education Center (OSFEC)
Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO)
Adelentes Mujeres providing entrepreneurial training and support for Latina businesses
Centro Cultural de Washington County (also included in the coordination effort with CIO)

Combined these organizations are collaborating under the Aloha Unite! effort to build the bridge between communities and governing jurisdictions.

Oregon Statewide Planning Goal 1

In Oregon's Statewide Planning Goals, 'Citizen Involvement'  is Goal 1.  Washington County takes your participation just as seriously.

Your involvement in policy and planning efforts is valuable.  You can choose to stay informed and be aware of planning efforts as they evolve or participate in community events like advisory groups, work shops, open houses or neighborhood coffees.  Whatever involvement best meets your time and interest level it is important that you are aware of policy and planning efforts that may affect you. And that you have opportunities to voice your opinions.

Public involvement and the exchange of information is a fundamental and necessary part of the planning process.  To facilitate this exchange of information, the Washington County Long Range Planning Division includes a public engagement strategy in every planning effort.  For land use changes you always have opportunity to provide testimony before the Board of County Commissioners (specified in Chapter 5 of the County Charter.).  In most planning efforts, multiple opportunities beyond testimony also are provided to build awareness and solicit feedback.

A good way to get involved is by attending your Citizen Participation Organization's monthly meeting (http://extension.oregonstate.edu/washington/cpo).  Since the early 1970s Washington County uses this acknowledged citizen involvement program to provide opportunities for citizens and other interested parties to participate in all phases of the planning process. 

A draft version of the Public Engagement and  Communications Plan was provided to the Citizens Advisory Committee for review and comment. Your input is also valuable. Send comments on the plan to alohareedville@co.washington.or.us. The Plan has a built in review and refinement process at the beginning of each of the next two phases. Approaches that did not yield a good return on investment of resources will be replace with other engagement methods. New/improved approaches will be continually considered throughout the process.

The public involvement component for Aloha-Reedville Study will include, but is not limited to the following:

  • Open Houses
  • Work Groups
  • Informational Coffees
  • Public Hearings