Finding Strength in Partnership with Community-Based Organizations
More than 4,000 survey responses gained through outreach efforts with CBO partners
August 31, 2023: Embracing the collaborative vision of the 2025 Blueprint, SACOG recently wrapped up the Community-Based Organization (CBO) Grant Program, an effort designed to gain new perspectives that will shape the future of the six-county region. The program tapped into CBOs’ local expertise to foster inclusive outreach and engagement for the region’s long-range plan.
At the core of this initiative was the goal to encourage diverse participation in the 2025 Blueprint Survey. CBOs applied by outlining tailored outreach strategies that aimed to foster engagement in communities that have been historically underrepresented in survey responses. This effort served as a platform to amplify their voices within the planning process, ensuring a more inclusive and comprehensive perspective on the region’s future. To support these strategies, SACOG distributed $50,000 in grants to 12 CBOs from around the region.
Sacramento State’s Geography Department was one of the grant program awardees and their efforts went beyond simply asking students to take a survey. “Using SACOG’s toolkit, we created a class activity for faculty to use with their students,” shared Jasmine Arpagian, an assistant professor of geography at Sacramento State.[ML1] [NT2] [AC3] The participating students shared their insights through the survey and engaged in discussions with peers and family, leading to new viewpoints. One student shared, “[AT4] [AC5] We believe [cost of transportation] to be the most important issue for our taxes to address … and that it is a large part of the image of a brighter 2050 in Sacramento.” With efforts ranging from classroom activities to community workshops, the 12 CBOs brought an unparalleled level of authenticity to the engagement process.
Thanks to the innovative efforts fostered by the CBOs, an unprecedented level of engagement was met. A remarkable 4,000 survey responses were gathered, breaking the previous record of 1,200 survey responses during the engagement period for the 2020 plan. The communities involved provided valuable insights crucial for shaping the region’s future.
On July 27, 2023, the participating CBOs came together at SACOG to celebrate their accomplishments and share feedback. Participants highlighted successful strategies in their initiatives, discussed areas for improvement in future iterations of the program, and shared compelling stories and opinions from the community members they engaged with. The insights gained from these collaborative partners have provided SACOG with an enriched perspective that will shape the agency’s ability to cultivate impactful partnerships in future initiatives.[AC6]
SACOG is working to further its commitment to meaningful community engagement through programs like the CBO Grant Program and the Engage, Empower, Implement Program, the agency’s new funding program that will continue to support CBO outreach and engagement projects in the region. Collaborative programs like this allow the region to focus on creating community-driven and equitable outcomes for community members. The vision is to continue building on this in the 2025 Blueprint as we shape a shared future together.
SACOG will provide a report on all community engagement efforts for the 2025 Blueprint in the coming months.