Springs Municipal Advisory Council
July 6, 2020
The Springs Municipal Advisory Council represents the people of the Springs in Sonoma Valley as the voice of the community to elected representatives. SMAC is committed to engage with all community members in meaningful and inclusive ways to promote the health and wellbeing of the Springs.
Message from Chair Iturri
The Springs Municipal Advisory Council was established in March of 2019 by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. The purpose of the council is to provide a space for community voice as well as advise Supervisor Gorin on local matters of concern to the community.
The purpose of this newsletter is to provide the community with information about upcoming meetings, events and current projects. Most importantly it is an opportunity to hear feedback from our community.
This newsletter will evolve as we learn more about the community interests. For now, I would like to share some information from our last meeting. The following is a summary of the minutes from the June 23, 2020 meeting. Minutes will be available on the Spring Municipal Advisory Council web page. Click here
Conversation on Racism in the U.S. and Sonoma County
D'mitra Smith, community member and Chair of the Human Rights Commission, spoke to the Council about her experience in Sonoma Valley for the last 20 years. She also provided the group with several resources and actions to address systemic racism. I would like to acknowledge that I cannot do justice to her poignant words in a summary. Here are a few ideas from the conversation (paraphrased).
1. Amplify voices who have not been invited to the table by creating space and giving up your seat.
2. Insure curriculum that is relevant to the students, that holds up the history of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous People of Color) and contributions to our world. Look to places that have created changes in their curriculum (Berkeley High AP reader shared with SVUSD).
3. Examine the icons we have celebrated in our community. What changes need to take place i.e Bear Flag Revolt, Mariano Vallejo's legacy, Mission history?
4. Where is the resolution or statement condemning the genocide of indigenous tribes in the Valley and the violent repression of the Mission? How do we repair the relationship to center indigenous leadership in environmental stewardship and land use?
5. Examine the makeup of boards that are making decisions for disenfranchised communities. They should be representative of the communities they serve.
6. Remove Law Enforcement from schools. Provide mental health, counseling equity and access and trauma informed interventions to address the WHY, not the WHAT of student behavior.
7. Read The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson and The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism by Edward E. Baptist. Educate yourself not on being colorblind, but on how to be anti racist. Use your privilege to undo structural racism.
Councilperson Lely made a Motion, to have an ongoing agenda item that addresses structural racism & classism in our community. Each month will have a specific topic to help us focus on how to affect change. Make first agenda item education.
Report from Ad Hoc Committees
1. Emergency Preparedness (Willett, Lombard and Iturri)
A plan to support the emergency preparedness of the Springs is being devised. The components include a shelter and communication system. The Ad Hoc Team is working to develop a "block captain" strategy for communication in case of an evacuation. The principles of Map my Neighborhood are being employed and the team is piloting a questionnaire in their own neighborhoods.
The Shelter work continues to be a lengthy process. Red Cross is not sending field assessors out to evaluate potential shelters. The Ad Hoc is awaiting a meeting with County EOC personnel to continue the conversation.
2. Communication (Conlan, Goldman, Wheatley)
The team developed a survey to be disseminated in the Springs area. There is ongoing conversation about the best way to outreach and obtain information. Mailing is costly and the SMAC budget is limited. Social media, email and hard copies available at local organizations appears to be the route the group will take. The survey includes questions about access to resources, communication and needs. The survey will be released in late July early August. Please be on the look out for it!!
Future Agenda Items for Consideration
- Councilperson Goldman, the Springs Specific Plan, five years in development. Will help w/ land use, provide blueprint for Springs.
- Also a discussion of incorporation vs. annexation.
- Councilperson Lombard would like to find a way to get updates for what projects are in process in community, and what phase they are in. Visited site of container construction, saw progress. Feels there is a lack of info to community, is important to know what kind of commercial developments are being planned, and what stage they are in.
- Councilperson Lely, Councilperson Conlan can’t comment on Councilperson Lombard’s item.
- Councilperson Lely, focus of Motion tonight.
- Vice Chair Willet, a “values statement” for new businesses moving in.
- Councilperson Conlan, another Ad Hoc report. Chair Iturri, yes, ongoing
Please be well. Wear your mask and take care of one another.