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Calling all community voices: Tempe wants YOUR ideas for engaging everyone in our city
July 18 information session at Escalante Community Center
July 11, 2019
Tempe, AZ – The city has issued an invitation to any community members or groups with ideas on how to better engage all types of people in making decisions about Tempe.
A formal Request for Quote (RFQ) has been posted to the city website at https://ww2.tempe.gov/bids/. By clicking on the link, you can read about what Tempe is looking for. The deadline to respond is Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019 at 3:30 p.m.
The effort is part of the city’s new Equity in Action pilot program, which is designed to increase the participation of underrepresented residents in Tempe’s planning and decision-making processes. The aim is for projects of all kinds – from super-local park improvements and streetscapes to bigger-picture, citywide issues like the Climate Action Plan – to receive more and better input from the widest possible array of Tempe residents.
An information session on the Equity in Action RFQ will be offered at two times on Thursday, July 18. The same details will be provided at each session, though audience members could ask different questions during the Q&A for each session. The sessions will take place at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. at the Escalante Community Center, 2150 E. Orange St.
Do you have ideas on how we can engage all types of people living and working in Tempe? Any community members or groups can apply for this pilot effort to improve the city’s approach to collecting public feedback. The chosen applicants will be able to demonstrate their ability to reach and represent underrepresented communities. A fixed hourly rate will be paid to the awarded people or groups.
This is a partnership of the City of Tempe and Vitalyst Health Foundation. The group was one of nine applicants to receive awards in May 2018 from the Tempe City Council for community-focused projects. Tempe’s one-time Innovation Fund awarded a total of $500,000 to projects ranging from green business assistance to a career-readiness project for young people.
The Equity in Action project was awarded $75,000, which is being matched by Vitalyst.
After the RFQ response deadline, Tempe will consider the RFQ responses it received to determine which individuals or groups are most qualified to help the city moving forward. The chosen applicants will demonstrate that they have the ideas and experience to assist with a pilot project to update the city’s processes for seeking input from a wide variety of Tempe community members, including those who may not always hear about or be engaged in city functions.
Mayor Mark Mitchell said the Equity in Action effort is just one example of how Tempe truly demonstrates its commitment to diversity and maximum community involvement. He said that Tempe can achieve greater equity in policy, programs, services and facilities if all viewpoints are sought and considered.
“I am so grateful to the thousands of residents who regularly participate in our calls for feedback on projects and issues, but we know that we aren’t reaching everyone,” Mitchell said. “I truly believe this upfront, inclusive approach to understand the views of all residents will result in improved decision making that is more reflective of our whole community. I am also hopeful that this program will lay the foundation for a culture of civic engagement and that this model can be replicated in many other cities in Arizona.”
About Vitalyst Health Foundation
Vitalyst Health Foundation is on a mission to inform, connect and support efforts to improve the health of individuals and communities in Arizona. Over its history, the foundation has invested more than $100 million and established itself as a key thought leader, convener and catalyst of key initiatives – ranging from statewide health policy and systems to development of local community gardens. More information is available at http://vitalysthealth.org/.
About the City of Tempe
Tempe makes waves as a technology and business magnet, an inclusive, caring community, and a hub for recreation and adventure. tempe.gov
Media contact: Nikki Ripley