Community Outreach

The Grand Boulevard Initiative has built grassroot support through unique partnerships among transit districts, health departments, and advocacy organizations. With funding from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the following projects have established the framework for community outreach and communications planning for the El Camino Real Corridor.

Empowering Civic Discourse

The Empowering Civic Discourse project supported advocacy efforts that empower the Grand Boulevard Initiative's Task Force, Working Committee, and Community Leaders Roundtable members to engaged in civic discourse with residents and the business community. The goal is to increase consensus around how communities along the El Camino Real Corridor can grow in a sustainable manner.

A Message Platform was developed to guide Grand Boulevard Initiative outreach. The Message Platform includes the following:

With the projected growth of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, the Project is essential to creating the support for smart, sustainable growth along the El Camino Real Corridor. Well-planned housing and mixed-use developments linked to an effective transportation network are needed to ensure our region has the infrastructure necessary to support the growing population. Coupled with streetscape improvements, housing and transportation investments make our communities healthier and safer places for people to live, work, and play. These investments in the Corridor cannot happen without the support from local communities who recognize and understand the personal and community-wide benefits of smart growth. The Project is significant in that it empowers trusted local leaders to generate support for this much needed change. 

Project Partners:

San Mateo County Transit District | Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority | City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County | San Mateo County Health System | Santa Clara County Health Department | Greenbelt Alliance | Local Government Commission

Grand Boulevard Initiative Campaign

The Grand Boulevard Initiative Campaign continued the prior partnerships to support the development of a Communications Plan and messaging framework. The Campaign utilized the community feedback from the From Grass Tops to Grass Roots and Creating the Buzz projects and engaged a consultant to conduct a community values audit via social media sources to identify key issues in the El Camino Real Corridor and values that resonate with the community members.

The goals were to: 1) galvanize audiences that are supportive of the Grand Boulevard Initiative Vision, educate those that do not know about the Initiative, and address the main concerns voiced by opponents; 2) strengthen existing partnerships among transportation, health, and environmental organizations; 3) increase coordination in terms of message discipline and alignment of resources towards the Grand Boulevard Initiative goals and priorities; and 4) create a strategic path forward for outreach and communications to ensure momentum gained to date continues towards achieving the Grand Boulevard Initiative Vision over the long term.

The Communications Plan recommends that the public outreach messages focus on the benefits of the Grand Boulevard Initiative - the "why" component - why Grand Boulevard Initiative is important to an individual on a personal level. The Campaign spurred a branding makeover for the Grand Boulevard Initiative, including the development of a new logo and tagline - "People Friendly Places from Daly City to San Jose." The messaging platform also identified key audiences, including business owners, large employers, and local homeowners, and developed customized messages for each.

Click here to view the Communications Plan recommendations.

Project Partners:

San Mateo County Transit District | Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority | San Mateo County Health System | Santa Clara County Health Department | Greenbelt Alliance

Creating the Buzz

The Creating the Buzz project continued the public outreach success in San Mateo County created by the From Grass Tops to Grass Roots project, described below, and expanded a similar model in Santa Clara County. The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) and Santa Clara County Health Department joined as partners. A key success was bridging the community outreach across two counties.

The project also expanded the "Walk the Talk" events, with two additional events in San Mateo County and three events in Santa Clara County. The project partners also hosted "An Evening with Gil Penalosa" - Gil Penalosa, the former Commissioner of Parks, Sports, and Recreation for the City of Bogota, Colombia, presented his experience in planning vibrant public spaces and his passion for improving quality of life and health via better walking and biking options. The Community Leaders Roundtable was expanded to include advocacy organizations in Santa Clara County as well.

The community feedback and messaging strategies developed under the From Grass Tops to Grass Roots and Creating the Buzz projects developed the base for the third communications and community engagement element of the Grand Boulevard Initiative - the Grand Boulevard Campaign (discussed above).

Project Partners:

San Mateo County Transit District | Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority | San Mateo County Health System | Santa Clara County Health Department | Greenbelt Alliance

From Grass Tops to Grass Roots

The From Grass Tops to Grass Roots project was significant in establishing the building blocks for community support of the Grand Boulevard Initiative Vision. The project built grass roots support by bringing advocacy organizations to the Grand Boulevard Initiative table to work with cities and San Mateo County to develop common messages that resonate with residents and business owners. The project included researching perceptions about transit-oriented development, educating residents and the business community on the Grand Boulevard Initiative Vision and the benefits of enhanced development in the El Camino Real Corridor, developing messages that resonate locally, and building a cohort of local residents and business owners.

A San Mateo County Community Leaders Roundtable was established to involve advocacy organizations in developing messaging strategies for the Grand Boulevard Initiative. This project also fostered four successful "Walk the Talk" events, which tested varying messages and targeted specific community audiences in San Mateo County. Events took the form of evening community meetings, farmer's market booths, and breakfast forums.

A Grand Boulevard Initiative video also was created, highlighting the value of and capacity for complete neighborhoods and streets, sustainable and affordable lifestyles, and thriving, bustling urban villages connected by a multimodal corridor.

The project also launched the "Become a Friend of the Grand Boulevard" campaign to involve residents and businesses. Check it out and get involved!

Project Partners:

San Mateo County Transit District | San Mateo County Health System | Greenbelt Alliance

 

Upcoming Events

Working Committee Meeting

April 24, 2017 | 10AM - 12PM
Mountain View City Hall (Plaza Room)

Task Force Meeting

March 29, 2017 | 10AM - 12PM
SamTrans Auditorium (San Carlos)