Title VI


Public Plan

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Society for Equal Access/ILC

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PLAN
 

Guiding Principles
Society for Equal Access/ILC’s public involvement procedures are built on the following guiding principles:

1. Public participation is a dynamic activity that requires teamwork and commitment at all
    levels of the SEA’s organization.
2. One size does not fit all — input from diverse perspectives enhances the process.
3. Effective public outreach and involvement requires relationship building with local
    governments and advisory groups.
4. Engaging interested persons in ‘regional’ transportation issues is challenging, yet
    possible, by making it relevant, removing barriers to participation, and communicating
    in clear, compelling language and visuals.
5. An open and transparent public participation process empowers low-income communities
    and communities of color to participate in decision-making that affects them (adopted as
    an environmental justice principle by the Commission in 2006). SEA undertakes specific
    strategies to involve the public, including low-income persons, communities of color,
    people with disabilities, the elderly in SEA’s planning and investment decisions.

Strategy 1: Early Engagement Is Best
SEA’s structures its major planning initiatives and funding decisions to provide for meaningful opportunities to help shape outcomes.

Strategy 2: Access to All
SEA works to provide all 8 county residents opportunities for meaningful participation, regardless of disabilities or language barriers. Further, we recognize that one should not need to be a transportation professional to understand ourwritten and oral communications.

Strategy 3: Response to Written Comments
SEA pays close attention to the views of the public. SEA is committed to responding to every letter and e-mail sent by individual members of the public.

Strategy 4: Inform Commissioners and Public of Areas of Agreement and Disagreement
SEA staff summarizes comments heard from various parties on items going before the Commission for action so that the Commissioners and the public have a clearunderstanding of the depth and breadth of opinion on a given issue.

Strategy 5: Notify Public of Proposed or Final Actions
We strive to inform participants about how public meetings and participation are helping to shape or have contributed to SEA’s key decisions and actions. When outcomes don’t correspond to the views expressed, every effort is made to explain why not.
 

GET INVOLVED: ACCESSIBLE MEETINGS
All SEA public meetings or events are held in locations accessible to persons with disabilities. Monthly meetings and peer support groups take place at SEA’s offices. Assistive listening devices or other auxiliary aids are available upon request.  Sign-language interpreters, readers for persons with visual impairments, or language translators will be provided if requested.

Public Participation Techniques
SEA uses various techniques to develop and execute specific public participation Programs. A menu of participation techniques follows, and includes some tried-and-trueapproaches as well as an emphasis on digital engagement, based on what we heard from the public and partner agencies in response to recent outreach done in advance of updating this plan.

Public Engagement Methods

  • Conduct meetings, workshops and open houses at varied times of day, including evening meetings, to encourage participation
  • Present to existing groups and organizations; co-host events with community groups, business associations, etc.
  • Participate in existing community events
  • Contract with community-based organizations in low-income and minority communities for targeted outreach
  • Organize small-group discussions such as focus groups with participants recruited randomly from telephone polls or recruited by stakeholder interest groups

Use of the Internet/Electronic Access to Information

  • Maintain website with updated content, interactive surveys and opportunities for comment
  • Use social media to reach a larger audience
  • Post open house/workshop written and display materials

Utilize local media

  • News releases
  •  Invite reporters to news briefings
  • Meet with editorial staff
  • Opinion pieces/commentaries
  • Purchase display ads
  • Place speakers on Radio/TV talk shows
  • Public Service Announcements on radio and TV
  • Develop content for public access/cable television programming

Techniques for Involving Low Income Communities and Communities of Color

  • Presentations and discussions with SEA’s Policy Advisory Council
  • Outreach in the community (such as pop-up meetings at malls, libraries, health centers, etc.)
  • Use of community and minority media outlets to announce participation Opportunities

Techniques for Involving Limited-English Proficient Populations

  • See also SEA’s Plan for Special Language Services to Limited English Proficient (LEP) Populations.
  • Train staff to be alert to and anticipate the needs of Limited-English Proficient participants at meetings and workshops
  • Translate materials; have translators available at meetings as requested
  • Include information on meeting notices on how to request translation assistance
  • On-call translators for meetings on request

Public Participation Goals
People who take the time and energy to participate in public processes should feel
their participation is valued. SEA’s commit to the following goals and
performance benchmarks to measure the effectiveness of the public participation
program.

  • Promote a transparent process
  • Encourage broad participation
  • Engage for impact
  • Build knowledge

Public Meetings and Forums
Public meetings on specific issues are held as needed. If statutorily required,
formal public hearings are conducted, and notice of these public hearings is placed
in the legal section of the local newspaper and the website.
Meetings are located and scheduled to maximize public
participation (including evening meetings).
For major initiatives and events, SEA typically provides notice through posting
information on SEA’s website, and, if appropriate, through e-mail notices and
news releases to local media outlets.

Planning and Advisory Boards
Regularly scheduled meetings of SEA’s Planning and Advisory Board
present another opportunity for interested members of the public —
whether government or non-government — to stay involved. Meeting times,
locations and materials will be posted on the SEA website.


Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides that no person shall, on the basis
of race, color or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the
benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity
receiving federal financial assistance. Therefore, Title VI prohibits SEA from
discriminating on the basis of race, color or national origin in carrying out its
transportation planning and programming activities, which receive federal
funding. Title VI was further clarified and supplemented by the Civil Rights
Restoration Act of 1987 and a series of federal statutes enacted in the 1990s.
federally conducted and federally funded programs and activities. It
requires that all federal agencies identify any need for services to those
with limited English proficiency and develop and implement a system to
provide those services so all persons can have meaningful access to
services. SEA’s Plan for Special Language Services to Limited English
Proficient Populations can be found in English, Spanish and Chinese on the website.