City Receives Community Engagement Award for Neighborhood Plan

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Elementary students provide input on housing conditions at a back-to-school event.

An example of effective community engagement, Washington Elementary School students provide input for the NESCA-Lansing Neighborhood Plan.

The City of Salem has received an Achievement in Community Engagement award for the public outreach process used to develop the NESCA-Lansing Neighborhood Plan.

The plan was one of just two projects selected statewide for the award this year by the state’s Citizen Involvement Advisory Committee (CIAC) on behalf of Oregon’s Land Conservation and Development Commission.

“What really stands out about Salem’s public involvement process are the thoughtful steps taken to identify and communicate with community leaders, and their ultimate success in engaging the Latino community in the NESCA and Lansing neighborhoods,” said CIAC’s chair Steve Faust. “Despite limited staff resources, they achieved great things for the community through their innovative, people centered approach.”

The City of Salem partnered with the North East Salem Community Association (NESCA) and Lansing Neighborhood Association from 2016 to 2017 to prepare the joint neighborhood plan. City planners led the public outreach efforts, which augmented traditional meetings and methods with more creative strategies designed to engage the neighborhoods’ diverse population. Public engagement methods included partnering with local organizations that assist Hispanic families and businesses, and attending events at neighborhood schools to engage families.

City Council adopted the NESCA-Lansing Neighborhood Plan in December of 2017. The plan captures the two neighborhoods’ goals and priorities for the future across a broad range of topics, including housing, transportation, and parks. The City and neighborhoods use the plan to guide and inform decisions affecting the neighborhoods.

Sadie Carney, the Rural Policy Analyst and Communications Manager for the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development, presented the community engagement award to the City’s Planning Division at the City Council meeting on Monday, October 8.

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