Community Engagement

Putting You First

We are creating change together.

Community engagement is at the center of everything we do. Every person deserves an equal opportunity to be a meaningful part of shaping policies, programs and decisions. The County is committed to creating those opportunities.

While we are finding new ways for people to play a part in County government, it’s always been important to what we do. Visitors to the County Administration Center are greeted with a reminder etched in stone at our entrance and laid into the marble floor of our lobby: “Good government demands the intelligent interest of every citizen.” It is our culture to provide access and build trust so that citizens can get involved.

Reimagining how we work.

The County uses a process called the General Management System to manage operations. The system was reimagined over the past year to put community engagement at its heart, ensuring that resident input and interaction inform how we serve the public – from policymaking, legislation and the budget to the programs and services we provide.

Putting it into practice.

The County has added a Community Engagement Manager and Language Services Manager to the County Communications Office to ensure all departments and programs are embedding engagement into their operations. This means meeting people where they are and communicating in a way that is easy to understand.

We have created a Community Engagement “hub,” a website where people can see how to participate through digital, in person and hybrid events on a wide variety of topics. 

A new online tool lets people participate in forums and provide feedback on many issues. You can register to get notifications and updates throughout projects to learn how input made a difference. 

We also gather feedback on projects through meetings, surveys and other methods, covering a broad range of interests in all areas of the county. This past year projects included public safety power shutoffs, emergency plans, immigration issues, legislative advocacy and conservation. 

Input gathered on voter outreach impacted June’s statewide primary elections, when we officially rolled out our voting centers model, a new way to make voting easier for everyone and encourage more people to do it. More than 200 vote centers around the county were open days before election day. They let voters vote early, with their own personal ballots no matter where they lived in the county, without having to return home to vote in neighborhood precincts or vote provisionally.

And, we’ve worked closely with the public to develop the new Southeastern San Diego Live Well Center, a single stop for residents to get services, attend community meetings and access educational opportunities and workforce training scheduled to open in summer of 2023. Local artists have been a part of the process to shape the center’s creative and cultural vision. 

In addition, people can let us know how we’re doing by following the County on social media – Twitter, Facebook, Nextdoor, Instagram – and by using the Tell Us Now app to report non-emergency problems and track the progress.