Are you concerned about your community? Are there things you want to change or improve?

A unique opportunity is before the unincorporated Eden Area residents of Ashland, Castro Valley, Cherryland, Fairview and San Lorenzo to participate in an exercise of grass-roots democracy and improve our communities.

This decision-making process will happen through a "charrette," or large town hall meeting, organized by myself and Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan.

The charrette provides a place for constituents like you, who are interested in making strategic improvements, to have your say and vote.

We are inviting those who live or own a business or property in the area and are 16 years or older to participate in establishing a unified vision for the next five years by prioritizing and voting on the most important issues in the areas of public safety and realignment, economic development, education, governance, agriculture and the environment.

The goals participants will be voting on have been developed by more than 90 residents and other community partners through a 10-month process that began last February.

The charrette is a part of an ongoing effort that began in 2006 with the first Eden Area Livability Initiative (EALI Phase I), a process that resulted in the planning, building and opening of the $25 million state-of-the-art, 32,000-square-foot REACH Ashland Youth Center.


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Other successful projects from EALI Phase I include streetscape improvements and the creation of a community design team that is now planning the Cherryland Community Center.

These accomplishments are examples of what can be achieved when residents and public officials work together.

The League of Women Voters of the Eden Area and the Alameda County Registrar of Voters will be on hand to oversee the charrette voting process and to certify the outcome.

Their role is important and will ensure a fair, open and credible process.

To vote on the future of the unincorporated Eden Area, please attend the charrette from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at Eden United Church of Christ, 21455 Birch St., Hayward.

Continental breakfast, lunch, child care and Spanish translation will be provided free of charge.

For more information, contact my office at 510-381-9017 or Eileen.ng@acgov.org.

Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley represents District 4, which includes Castro Valley, Cherryland, Fairview and most of the Ashland area.