Public invited to take part in shaping Sonoma County’s priorities

Would you like to see Sonoma County invest more in projects to reduce greenhouse gas? Do you think too few or perhaps too many county resources are being put toward reducing homelessness? Where would you like to see the county be in terms of housing development five years from now? 
 
Residents from Sonoma County are invited to take part in addressing these and other important community questions beginning next week as part of community-wide discussions focused on developing Sonoma County’s Strategic Plan for the next five years.
 
“This is a critical opportunity for the public to get involved in helping shape our blueprint for the future,” says Supervisor Susan Gorin, chair of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. “This will be the guiding document that will help ensure that our future actions reflect a clear sense of purpose. This is the time to be in the room – or the Zoom – where it happens.”  
 
Since late 2019, county leaders and members of the board of supervisors have been developing the framework for the new strategic plan. The board of supervisors discussed the basic structure during a strategic planning retreat on Jan. 28 where the board discussed and identified five strategic pillars for the next five years. Those pillars include: healthy and safe communities, organizational excellence, climate action and resiliency, racial equity and social justice, and resilient infrastructure.
 
County leadership is now seeking input from community members as well as county employees. The feedback will be used to refine and finalize the plan, which is expected to be adopted by the board of supervisors in February 2021.
 
Examples of some of the goals and objectives of the five pillars include:
 

·         Healthy and Safe Communities: Increase housing development near transportation and services; reduce homelessness by enhancing services based on coordination and collaboration; continue to invest in public safety so that residents and visitors feel safe in our community.

·         Climate Action and Resiliency: Make all county facilities carbon-free and zero waste; invest in the community to become carbon neutral by 2030.

·         Racial Equity and Social Justice: Assure racial equity throughout all county policy decisions and service delivery; engage key community and internal stakeholders to develop priorities and to advance racial equity.

·         Resilient Infrastructure: Invest in capital improvements to ensure resiliency of services and improve disaster preparedness; continue to invest in critical roads infrastructure; support, fund and expand flood protection.

·         Organizational Excellence: Increase information sharing and transparency and improve county and community engagement; become an employer of choice with a diverse workforce that reflects our community

To help shape these pillars, the public is invited to take part in one or more community meetings dedicated to each of these pillars. The meetings, which will be conducted via Zoom, are scheduled for the following dates:

·        Organizational Excellence: Tuesday, Nov. 10; English session from noon to 1 p.m.; Spanish-language session from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

·        Climate Action and Resiliency: Friday, Nov. 13; English session from noon to 1 p.m.; Spanish session from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

·        Resilient Infrastructure: Monday, Nov. 16; English session from noon to 1 p.m.; Spanish session from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

·        Racial Equity and Social Justice: Wednesday, Nov. 18; English session from noon to 1 p.m.; Spanish session from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

·        Healthy and Safe Communities: Thursday, Nov. 19; English session from noon to 1 p.m.; Spanish session from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

To find out more about the Strategic Plan, take a survey and find links to the upcoming community meetings, go to https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Board-of-Supervisors/Strategic-Plan/

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