Comprehensive Plan January 2021 Project Updates

By January 20, 2021News, News_CompPlan

Draft Community Objectives and Online Engagement Opportunities

Additional Draft Community Objectives are here! Check out our online engagement opportunity!

The ENGAGEDurham team is excited to share all 33 draft Community Objectives for the Comprehensive Plan! Over the past few months, our multidisciplinary team has drafted Community Objectives from the input of more than 1,000 residents, centering those who have traditionally been excluded from planning processes.

The draft objectives include topics of Housing, Transportation, Jobs, Equity Culture and Community Engagement, and the Environment and recently added Public Space, Recreation, and Events, Education and Training, Youth, Seniors, Health & Wellness.

For detailed information and graphics on writing the draft objectives, check out this page on ENGAGEDurham!

Share your feedback on the draft Community Objectives on our new digital engagement platform, Social Pinpoint, by clicking the button below:

At the link above you can learn about the process of writing the Community Objectives, read the objectives and provide feedback, and submit a photo, drawing, or quote using your five senses to imagine the Durham you’d like to see in the future. In reviewing the draft Community Goals and Objectives (through Social Pinpoint and the engagement methods described below) we are asking residents the following questions:

  • This objective feels true for me and my community: strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, or strongly disagree.
  • If this objective does not feel true for your community, what is missing?
  • If this language is not clear, what needs to change to make it clear? Feel free to rewrite any part of the statement above.

We anticipate that the Social Pinpoint pages for reviewing the objectives will be available through mid-February.

Other Forms of Engagement on Draft Community Objectives 

The Comprehensive Plan team has been coordinating engagement with the Transit Plan team. The online survey distributed by the Transit Plan team included a question on the Comprehensive Plan topics. The information from that engagement will be reported out here: Durham Transit Plan News Post

Engagement Ambassadors 

In our work towards more equitable engagement, the Comprehensive Plan and Transit Plan teams have been working with Engagement Ambassadors to reach a more diverse group of residents. Engagement Ambassadors are community members who have connections to parts of our community that staff may not be able to successfully engage.

The first round of engagement on draft Community Objectives through Engagement Ambassadors was called Fall Feedback Sessions. Engagement Ambassadors focused on reviewing the Objectives related to housing during these sessions since it was the most mentioned topic during the previous Listening and Learning engagement. The Fall Feedback sessions were completed in mid-December with a total of 174 responses. Staff is working through the open-ended responses received so far to determine how to revise and address the concerns raised around clarity and intent.

We are now in the second phase of work with Engagement Ambassadors on draft Community Objectives, called Winter Feedback Sessions. Approximately 30 residents are involved as Ambassadors for this round, some of whom also led Fall Feedback Sessions. In the Winter Feedback Sessions, Ambassadors will be engaging residents on the remaining draft objectives for the Comprehensive Plan following the same structure described above. These objectives relate to transportation, jobs, environment, engagement, schools, public spaces and events, health and wellness, youth, and seniors. Approximately 30 residents have participated in an Engagement Ambassador session so far.

Small Group Engagement Update

Planning staff are in the process of hosting facilitated discussions to gain input about the Comprehensive Plan’s draft Community Objectives. To better reach community members that we did not hear from during the Listening and Learning phase of engagement, staff has contacted eight different community organizations to participate in these sessions throughout January. Each group will receive an update on the plan and discuss three draft objectives.

Input gathered from these small group engagement sessions will be used to inform and update the draft Community Objectives to better reflect the needs and priorities of residents. Group members will receive a small stipend (a gift card to a local Durham business) for their participation and will be encouraged to visit the Comprehensive Plan’s Social Pinpoint site individually to provide feedback on other draft objectives.

New Program Assistant 

The ENGAGEDurham team is excited to introduce our newest Program Assistant, Ami Mejia! Ami is a second generation immigrant mestiza of Nahua ethnicity. She is excited to mend and create positive bridges between local Durham government and Latino community. Ami will join Laquita McDonald as our second ENGAGEDurham Program Assistant working on all things engagement for the Comprehensive Plan. Ami will have a particular focus on engagement and outreach with Spanish-speaking residents in Durham.