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Summary Meeting Notes: September 20, 2012 for Community Involvement PEG

Summary Meeting Notes

Community Involvement Policy Expert Group

 

Date: September 20, 2012

Time: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

PEG Attendees: Glenn Bridger, Greg Greenway, Paul Leistner/ PEG co-lead, Linda Morgan Masterman, Nettekoven, Howard Shapiro, Marty Stockton/ PEG co-lead, Morgan Tracy, Desiree Williams-Rajee, Robb Wolfson

Other Attendees: Danielle Brooks (PortlandADA Coordinator),Carolina Iraheta (PBOT), Don MacGillivray

Facilitator:Deb Meihoff

View the original agenda, including materials, for this meeting.

 

Key Points and Outcomes

  • Clarified the provisions of the Civil Rights Act-Title VI (and its accompanying executive orders), and how compliance may be incorporated into the City’s community involvement goals and policies
  • PEG members added new Accessibility and Equity concepts for inclusion in the staff discussion draft:  standards for data collection and systems of accountability tied to communities who are being served or affected by Comprehensive Plan policies and projects; role of volunteerism and the City’s neighborhood system; involvement in decision-making about project prioritization and selection of projects for implementation over time;
  • The PEG noted concerns about the meaning of the staff discussion draft, how the PEG’s relationship to the draft will be communicated to the public, and potential confusion with the PEG survey and staff discussion draft being issued simultaneously.

 

Welcome, Meeting Overview and Introductions

Presenter: Self-introductions.

Updates and Announcements 

Presenter: Marty Stockton, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability / PEG Co-leads  

Summary: progress in August, final draft PEG survey, and new PEG evaluation system

  • The PIAC Comprehensive Plan Work Group earlier in September reviewed draft goals and policies and helped staff to shape the Accessibility and Equity handout.
  • The CI-PEG survey will be launched in early October with the Comprehensive Plan e-newsletter (approx. 6500 addresses). Once launched and posted, it is requested that PEG members send the survey link out to their networks as well.  The aim is to have a summary of survey results as part of the background materials for the discussion draft public workshops scheduled to start in February 2013.

 

 

PEG CI Element Discussion: Accessibility and Equity

Presenter: Danielle Brooks/City ofPortland ADA Coordinator, MartyStockton/ Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, andDeb Meihoff/ facilitator

Description:

Meeting guest, Danielle Brooks, reviewed Title VI-Civil Rights Act and some of the applicable Executive Orders and rulemaking associated with compliance. Key elements and common practices of applying Title VI to local government community involvement work:

  • Title VI Executive Orders include policies on environmental justice (including adding income status as a protected class) and limited English proficiency (must have meaningful access). The state ofOregonalso has added environmental justice regulations.
  • Generally, to comply with Title VI, a government must develop a compliance plan and reporting mechanism. City ofPortlandhas a plan that is mostly focused on guarding against discrimination. Community involvement is an important method to meet the City’s compliance with its plan and the executive orders. It is key to ensuring meaningful participation and data collection.
  • Data collection is a critical function to implementing and tracking compliance of Title VI.  There is currently no standard process for collection, so it is difficult to identify and understand potential barriers to access. There are some good practices in place around the country (Seattle’s budgeting process), but there is a need to continue to build best practices. Internal to the City it would be helpful to have a system that identifies an exemplary process and then shares the methods and lessons learned throughout the bureaus, building our own set of best practices.
  • Generally, Title VI is viewed as a minimum standard of performance, not necessarily state of the art for driving greater accessibility and equity in process. The City is required to meet the provisions under Title VI, but we need to reach beyond what is mandated.

 

Handout:

 

Group Discussion Summary: The CI-PEG discussed the defining pieces of Accessibility and Equity in community involvement and the different levels of decision-making and phases of a Comprehensive Plan project or process.  In thinking about model practices, practical application of the Comprehensive Plan policies, and the existing policies, the group provided guidance to the co-leads in drafting new and revised policies:

  • Need to make sure the draft goals and policies take into account elements of Title VI, overview provided by Danielle Brooks, and theOregon’s related executive orders.
  • In the past, Community Involvement policies have been applied only at the project level - there is a need for goals or policies to direct compliance with accessibility and equity at the systems level (such as the drafting and implementation of the transportation system plan).
  • Equity goal or policy should include a statement about the role of citizen volunteerism in community involvement - value, promote, and acknowledge.
  • Draft language that refers to ‘community’ needs to be amended to be more inclusive and consistent throughout the chapter, example that might work is ‘all Portlanders and communities’.
  • Add policy language that requires each bureau to explicitly and specifically state its process for community involvement.
  • Add policy language that connects the bureau’s processes to data collection and community being served - gather demographic data of the intended geographic area of a project and to review data of those being engaged in the process at key points to see if the involvement strategy needs to be realigned. Connect data collection to addressing barriers to involvement and accountability / reporting to equity and accessibility.
  • Consider mandating a reporting standard that is tied back to Title VI categories. Use PBOT’s Title IV plan to determine what additional policy language could be added to address the federal standards. Look at the City’s four-factor analysis to determining accessibility for ongoing monitoring and data collection.
  • Policy that addresses inclusion of underrepresented citizens (policy 8.7 in current draft), needs firmer language requiring ‘tracking’ of inclusion, rather than ‘promoting’.

 

Handout:

 

 

Existing Comprehensive Plan Policy Exercise and Defining Comprehensive Plan Goals

Presenter: MartyStockton, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability / PEG Co-lead

Summary: PEG members’ briefly reviewed and discussed the existing policies and staff draft of goals and policies - summary of discussion points outlined below.  The PEG members expressed frustration with the pace and speed of producing a discussion draft of policies by October 1 and that the PEG will not have adequate time to review and meaningfully input on the draft.  It was clarified that due to the limited time the state is allowing for a Comprehensive Plan update, the first discussion draft has been planned as a ‘staff’ draft based on the best practices and ideas of the PEGs.  The staff discussion draft will be published for community-wide review and feedback; from there, the PEG will work more closely with staff on how to incorporate the community input as well as craft the best policy language to forward to the Planning and Sustainability Commission mid-2013. PEG members requested more time to review the staff draft as a group and requested clarity as to what happens with PEG comments and work that takes place October through the public review period concluding in March. With this in mind, the PEG expressed concern with issuing the community survey during this period and lack of understanding how the input from the survey will be incorporated into future drafts.  BPS needs to be clear about what will happen with the survey information and to be clear and transparent in communications to avoid confusion between issuing draft policies at the same time that PEG is soliciting feedback. 

Group Discussion Summary on draft goals and policies:

  • The Comprehensive Plan Update needs to address meaning and/or validity of the existing Neighborhood Plans.  A system needs to be developed for continued maintenance and updating of the neighborhood plans or they need to be incorporate the plans’ contents in a broader way and retire the individual neighborhood plans.
  • Generally, if there are community involvement provisions special to a particular bureau, PBOT for instance, those policies can be included as more specific sub-policies, rather than be placed in different chapters of the Comprehensive Plan.
  • Recommend adding policy language that requires interagency coordination with explicit guidance how the community can influence decision making throughout a process.
  • Draft goal 8.A should include ‘project prioritization’ in the list of decision-making processes to be influenced by community involvement.
  • Overall, the draft goals need to be edited for clarity, using concise language and structure.
  • The draft goals and policies need to recognize and honor the role of the neighborhood system, while acknowledging the need to expand involvement to Portlanders and communities who do not necessarily affiliate or participate in that system.

 

Related Materials:

 

Public Comment

  • Don MacGillivray, Buckman resident: Mr. MacGillivray implored the PEG to focus on defining success and developing methods of accountability. He noted discouragement with the focus on wording and not enough discussion on outcomes. How do we define success, hold the City accountable to process, and improve? It is a difficult challenge to define success, since the meaning is different each time policies and goals need to be applied.

 

PEG Check-in

  • PEG members requested the October meeting be devoted solely to review of the staff discussion draft of Goals and Policies.

 

Follow up and Next Steps

  • Develop complete and detailed CI-PEG outreach strategy that includes the survey, focus groups, and other methods staff mentioned at previous meetings.  Consider consulting with the PIAC work group on the strategy prior to bringing to the CI-PEG.
  • At the October meeting, review the PEG’s work plan and determine where adjustments to topics need to be made.
  • Staff to distribute the state ofOregonregulations on environmental justice.
  • PEG members are invited to submit written comments on the draft goals and policies, for incorporation into the staff discussion draft.

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