"Build a Great Community Together "
The headline above is our Core Purpose, and it's something that we take to heart as public servants with the City of Redwood City. The point is, it takes a true collaboration to build a great community; a partnership between those of us in City government, and the people who live and work here.
A community is much more than just a group of people living in
the same area, with the same government. It’s really defined
by the values and principles that are shared by that group of people.
This common perspective is what holds our society together and focuses
our combined efforts on finding solutions to the issues that face
People in a community understand that a City and its residents
share responsibility for addressing our common needs, and for working
to resolve the problems that we face as a community. It is only
through this shared responsibility that a city becomes a real community.
Here in Redwood City, we are doing great things to build and strengthen
many aspects of our community. For example:
- Partnership Academy for Community Teamwork (PACT), our citizens academy that occurs twice a year, brings 40 people right into the heart of the City's operation, covering all the City departments and connecting the participants with the people who do the City's work every day. This program also strives to engage people in understanding the concept of 'community' and offers avenues for getting involved in creating benefit for their streets, blocks, neighborhoods, and community;
- Community Builders goes a step further, offering over 100 community members a unique and unprecedented opportunity to learn from the some of the worlds premier thinkers, writers, and presenters - all about building community;
- The Community Task Force on Recycled Water was created to address the controversial question of the specific use of recycled water. This imaginative, community-based process brought people together and gave them responsibility for creating their own solution. We facilitated their meetings and research, and they produced a creative recommendation, accepted by City Council.
- The City's Community Improvement Grant Program provides small grants to help implement community engagement projects, beautification programs, neighborhood participation activities, or other projects that bring people together and build community.
- Our collaborative Youth Budgeting process brings together
educators, non-profits, and the City to analyze how our youth
development programs are being funded, and to identify shortfalls
in that funding;
- During preparation of our 2004-2005 budget, the City held two community workshops to gain the public's perspectives on proposed budget reductions being considered to deal with our deficit. Utilizing the concepts of Community Building, we invited people to work in both a large group and small group settings to discuss and analyze the proposed service reductions, and tell us if those reductions make sense in light of the economic situation. Those perspectives were then made part of the City Manager's report to the Council, for inclusion in their deliberation;
- A Community Forum on Housing was convened to examine our
current and future affordable housing needs, and look for ways
to best address those needs;
- The Downtown Area Plan, which is a broad blueprint for the
renaissance of downtown, involving business, the community, and
the City, was developed by a community-based task force representing various interest groups; its recommendations were accepted by the City Council;
- We continually work to improve and enhance our parks and recreation
programs and facilities, for the benefit of our neighborhoods
and the community as a whole.
These are just a few illustrations of what we’re doing to
strengthen our community, to bring services to our citizens that
they have told us they want and need, and to engage our community
in addressing the issues which we all share.