Saturday, September 25, 2010

What's Your Vision of San Antonio's future?

This morning I went to the launch meeting for SA2020, a series of public planning meetings to come up with a vision of San Antonio for the next ten years.  A very enthusiastic crowd was there, and I do mean crowd.  The event planners originally expected about 700 participants, over 1300 people signed up to go.  They managed the crowds by spilling over from the TriPoint YMCA at US 281 and N St Mary's to the SAWS building on the other side of the highway.   In order to enable all those people in different buildings to interact, the meeting was webcast by NOWCastSA. The webcast also made it so that not only could people at the conference participate, but also anyone online could as well.  The conference received over 1500 comments from the online community.  One man even tweeted fromt the Denver Airport while in transit.

The major themes that the attendees felt San Antonio needed to work on were:
  • Education at all levels but especially school readiness and job and vocational training
  • Health including magnet hospitals, lowered obesity rates, and accessibility to health care
  • Sustainable Growth including revitaliztion of older areas, water policy, and more controlled growth
  • Infrastructure Improvements
  • Transit options from drivable streets to bicycle lanes and better mass transit
  • Making SA more Hip--this particularly for the young singles out there
  • Combine Growth, Progress and still keep the history of the city
  • Improve Livability in the Inner city and keeping a balance with tourism
  • Job Equity and bringing better paying jobs
But not only did we talk about what needed to improve we also talked about what's great about San Antonio.
  • The Big city with the Small town feel
  • Strong support of the military, not just the bases but also for disabled vets and retirees
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Historic Traditions and conservation
  • Food
  • Fiesta
  • Economic Stability
  • Strong work ethic
  • Accessibility to more state parks than any other city in Texas
  • Higher Education options
  • Cooperation between the civilian and military Biomedical community
and many other positve qualities.

There are four more public meetings planned
October 28, 2010           Creating a Vision for San Antonio
  7-9 pm
November 20, 2010       How will we Measure Progress?
December 7, 2010         What Will Success Look Like? 
January 22, 2011           Putting it Together:  SA2020
If you would like to participate in these meetings, check out the SA2020 website.  If you can't attend, the other meetings will also be webcast live and you can participate by posting comments during the meeting.
Brakenridge HS Mariachi Band

Now the people who came to the conference are probably the most engaged people in San Antonio when it comes to civic issues, but what about your average San Antonian?  SA2020 wants to hear from you as well.  They've made it easy for you by setting up an online community survey and a special youth survey to engage the youth of San Antonio to find out what San Antonio needs to do to keep them here.  So what do YOU think?

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