In 2008 residents of Castro Valley, San Lorenzo, Ashland and Cherryland brainstormed with Supervisor Nate Miley and other Alameda County officials.
Their ultimate goal was to set some priorities for what citizens wanted from county government.
Along the way they compiled a 129-page statistical snapshot of the unincorporated communities that are part of the Eden Area Township.
"These communities don't have the same interactions with government as people who live in cities," said Miley chief of staff Eileen Ng, adding that Miley sought to create a way for residents to tell the county what they wanted.
That effort was called the Eden Area Livability Initiative, or ELI for short.
Now Miley is kicking off ELI-2 with the same idea -- to update the community overview and set current priorities.
The process will kick off on Wednesday, January 30, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 :30 p.m. at the Eden Church, Oliver Hall, 21455 Birch Street in Hayward.
At this initial meeting community leaders who have already expressed interest in the process will start looking at a range of issues including:
- Public Health
- Economic Development
But members of the public are invited and encouraged to attend and to offer up their issues, ideas and priorities for inclusion in the final planning document.
The entire effort from start to finish is called a charette, an open process through which people can campaign for their policy priorities and try to get them included in the final list of Eden Township imperatives.
Ng said that in 2008 citizen groups came up with 24 issues. They had to be whittled down to five. That occurred at a final meeting at which advocates set up tables to pitch their priorities to other citizens who voted for the selections.
Learn more about the process here.
The attached YouTube video depicts the final selection process or charette.
So if you've seen a problem, here's a way to become part of the solution.
Will you get involved? What are your priorities? How can Patch help the process?