Fresno is California’s fifth-largest city, with a diverse population of over 525,000 residents. When embarking on development of a new five-year Consolidated Plan and Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice, the City sought to reset its public engagement process, deploying an array of new strategies designed to reach more deeply into its communities and to make its public meetings and the draft documents more accessible to people with disabilities. These publicity efforts included meeting notices mailed to all 130,000 residential utility accounts in the city, 10,000 door hangers placed in neighborhoods surrounding meeting locations, a project website that garnered nearly 1,000 visits, Facebook and Twitter posts that reached over 10,000 users, and placement of notices with six local TV and radio outlets, including Spanish-language radio.
The 17 public meetings had both Spanish and Hmong interpreters present and were live-captioned to keep the meeting content accessible to participants with disabilities. The meetings were advertised as having refreshments and as welcoming children to encourage attendance. Focus groups were held with youth and seniors to ensure inclusion of viewpoints across the age spectrum. Mosaic’s team interviewed 40 stakeholders and also conducted intercept interviews on a Saturday afternoon in a busy city park using a set of short, informal questions designed to casually engage residents about areas and issues they would like to see improved within the city. A multi-language, multi-format survey collected 500 responses from Fresno residents. All told, Mosaic’s robust engagement process incorporated the input of over 1,500 residents in prioritizing community needs for the Consolidated Plan and identifying barriers to fair housing within the city.