Social sustainability at the Boulder City Council:
We believe it’s critical for the health of our community to acknowledge these real barriers and seek to reach those who cannot easily reach us. To us, not being able to participate is a true reality of our community, not apathy.
We have developed a process that we believe will ensure that Boulder is sustainable into the future, not only from environmental and economic perspectives, but also socially.
Social sustainability means participatory governance with deliberate and inclusionary processes — considering the needs of all community members. This requires strengthening representation of all people in the decision-making process. The greater the participation in the governance process, the more well-informed policy decisions are and the better long-term outcomes are for meeting city goals. Understanding what a broad spectrum of our community thinks about a broad spectrum of issues requires mechanisms for input beyond what is allowed during public participation at council meetings.
The community dialogue we’re about to launch will reach out to all segments of the community by using traditional survey techniques as well as non-traditional methods. First, a scientific, random-sample survey printed in English and in Spanish will be mailed to 3,500 Boulder residents.
A second, less-traditional method is called “Meetings-in-a-Box.” The meetings are small group gatherings hosted by individuals, organizations, groups or businesses, where residents with all sorts of interests and backgrounds are welcome.