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Valencia Park Voces Unidas

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Problem Summary
Resident Action
Key Learning & Lessons


City Council Woman Jennifer Fitzgerald noted the oversight in not communicating with Valencia Park residents and mandated that the organization operating the center must have ongoing communications with the residents of Valencia Park. The Valencia Park Voces Unidas also asked Mrs. Fitzgerald to attend one of their community meetings to discuss the navigation center and other matters important to the neighborhood’s work. 

The meeting with Council Woman Fitzgerald demonstrated residents’ organizing and mobilizing power on an issue that directly affects their homes and families. Neighbors shared directly with the Councilwoman their concerns, feelings of being disregarded, and desires moving forward. The discussion led to the Council Woman asking to meet on a regular basis with the community. She also agreed to participate in a community forum aimed at getting input from residents on the navigation center’s operation plan. The Council Woman heard residents’ concerns and worked to ensure the organization overseeing the navigation center also incorporated/listened to their concerns and recommendations. In the end, the navigation center administrators created a resident advisory committee comprised of community members from the Valencia Park neighborhood, with the goal of establishing a process for ongoing direct communication. 

The organization overseeing the development of the navigation center acknowledged their mistake in not going to the community before purchasing the building to house the navigation center. They did not give residents respect or the opportunity to support their efforts, which the community was prepared to do despite being left out of the process. The navigation center’s directors apologized for their failure to discuss the issues with them. They listened to the residents’ concerns regarding safety, security, pedestrian and auto traffic, and a complaint process. They agreed to a range of mitigation strategies to reduce potential negative impacts on the neighborhood and promised to continued communication to ensure any community concerns are heard in a timely and responsive manner.

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