Opinion: Advocate for Your Neighborhood

FOR THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

Julie Rhoten / NatomasBuzz.com Photo

As a long-time social worker and the current executive director at Stanford Settlement Neighborhood Center, I urge EVERYONE to participate in the redistricting process now underway in the city of Sacramento.

While attending Sac State, I was assigned to Stanford Settlement for my social work internship in 1989. I remember wondering about the stark contrast between the Gardenland-Northgate neighborhood and the neighborhood I grew up in, just eight miles away.

Neighbors told stories of organizing to advocate for basic amenities like sidewalks and street lights for their streets.

This is exactly the type of advocacy that is at the heart of our work. As a settlement house, we strive to extend democratic principles beyond the political sphere and into other aspects of life by empowering all of our neighbors to address community needs.

Everyone wants their neighborhood to be a top priority for their city council representative, but conversations about redistricting are not easy. However, we all benefit from making our voices heard and listening to neighbors whose views may be different from our own.

Who should participate in the redistricting process? Everyone who lives in the city of Sacramento! This includes renters, property owners, senior citizens, young people, families, individuals of every race and ethnicity, and individuals from every income and education level.

My hope is that neighbors from the most under resourced parts of our community will make their voices heard, because they have the most at stake.

Attend a public meeting via Zoom, submit comments online, and/or try out the online mapping tools. Your participation in this once-in-a-decade opportunity will make Sacramento a better place for all of us!

Julie Rhoten has worked at Stanford Settlement Neighborhood Center for 32 years. Stanford Settlement Neighborhood Center is a private, nonprofit social service agency providing programs for the entire family: young children, teens and senior citizens who live in zip codes 95815, 95833, 95834, 95835 and 95838.

You may also be interested in reading:
Redistricting 2021: Why Natomas Matters
Opinion: Why Redistricting Means to Me
Opinion: Help the Redistricting Commission

Currently, Natomas is represented by District 1, District 3 and District 4. / Source: City of Sacramento

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