Street Level Strategy is the contracted community engagement firm for LA County’s Care First Community Investment(CFCI) Initiative. In this role, our firm was tasked with designing and executing a robust community engagement program focused on the most justice-impacted and chronically underinvested zip codes in the County identified through the JENI, JESI, and ARDI indexes. In addition, there was a particular focus on engaging individuals with lived experience or housing insecurity or homelessness, the criminal justice system or incarceration, as well as historically underrepresented groups, including Native and Indigenous populations, African Americans, the LGBTQ community, and those with disabilities.
As part of this effort, SLS designed and executed a grassroots engagement campaign within 60 days. The core of the engagement campaign was a series of public hearings, listening sessions, and working group sessions in which community feedback was collected and presented to the CFCI’s Advisory committee to help inform their spending recommendation to the County CEO and Board of Supervisors.
Our firm designed and facilitated the series of public hearings, listening sessions, and working group sessions with the goal of ensuring multiple modes of engagement were available and most importantly, that they were culturally appropriate, accessible, and safe spaces that would empower community members to participate in an authentic way.
Our designs allowed participants to provide us with their feedback, written and verbal, in small-group or large-group settings. The sessions included policy visioning and workshopping, elements of participatory budgeting, as well as safe and comfortable spaces for individuals to share their personal stories and opinions without judgment, Each of these sessions and hearings, was designed to reach historically marginalized communities as such, we ensured the physical locations were ADA compliant, there was ASL interpretation, and multiple language interpretations depending on location. Our written materials were also translated into nine different languages. In total, over 5,000 community members have participated in this process.