SACReD, a broad coalition of diverse organizations, is hosting a community forum this evening as a first step towards developing what it calls a landmark transparency policy for the city of Santa Ana. The umbrella group had previously attempted to push for a community benefits agreement to promote responsible development in the city's downtown core.
This time around, "Let the Sunshine In" will be held at the office of Latino Health Access on 450 W. 4th Street from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. as an opportunity for residents and leaders to discuss how to make SanTana one of the most open and participatory cities in the country.
Councilmember Sal Tinajero will be on hand as will representatives from organizations such as OCCORD, the Kennedy Commission, the Orange County Labor Federation, El Centro Cultural de Mexico and others to explore collaborative efforts to have the future proposed legislation passed by the city council.
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Proponents for increasing transparency feel that a new policy is direly needed to streamline the planning process allowing for impacted residents to actually address concerns prior to a project being submitted to the city, as opposed to continually playing defense after the fact. This would come in the approach of holding meetings months before, at the onset of and after a development project is turned over to city staff.
Other reforms would include, in part, areas of notification, lobbying, and oversight commissions. Member organizations with SACReD have numerous examples to cite of how transparency policies work in other cities and counties across the country from Connecticut to California.
Will SanTana, the shadowy domain of Mayor Don Papi Pulido, let the sunshine in? Or will the rays of transparency summon vampire-like aversions, cape covers and hisses? God bless SACReD, but our bets are on the latter...