Santa Paulans are invited to join together to move Santa Paula forward

November 06, 2002
Santa Paula News
Santa Paulans are invited to join together on Thursday November 21, 2002 at 6:30 pm at the Community Center to move Santa Paula forward. It is time to develop strategies, identify goals and equip civic leaders. Notable efforts of several community groups need to converge in order to launch an integrated community plan of action. There has been much effort by groups such as Community 2000, a group of concerned citizens, to focus on creating a unified vision through a community consensus building process. This last year, an event entitled “Imagine Santa Paula” was conducted and the strategies of New Urbanism introduced as a best practice applicable in planning Santa Paula’s future.In 2002, the Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce focused on repositioning the organization by creating bridges, and building relationships. More specifically, an emphasis was placed on developing civic leaders throughout its membership with the creation of a capability for advocacy and a strategic alliance with the agricultural industry for economic development.The SPIRIT of Santa Paula (Santa Paulans Investing in Relationships of Integrity and Trust) is a faith-based group focused on community reconciliation. This last year, the SPIRIT group conducted the Santa Paula National Day of Prayer service and supported the Pastor and Ministers Associations during the Centennial celebration (Skate Street) and recent 9/11 Memorial service. In addition, the group conducted two targeted focus groups to determine the potential willingness of civic leaders of diverse interests to work together.To gather and focus a critical mass of civic leaders, the SPIRIT of Santa Paula will be conducting a strategic forum entitled “Santa Paula Unidos, United Santa Paula”, with a Thanksgiving theme and follow in the footsteps of the two previous SPIRIT focus groups. The event will include a much larger audience than previous meetings and breakout groups to develop strategies for community visioning, economic development, and reconciliation.Trained facilitators will be conducting the strategy sessions which include visioning, reconciliation and team building, and economic development opportunities.
After all that has been invested in building relationships and preparing for community investment this last year, it’s now time to move forward. The measurable outcome of this event will be the recruitment and empowerment of teams of civic leaders and specific near term action plans for collaborative community development.Master of Ceremonies will be Bill Simmons, former president of Ventura County Economic Development Association. Invited participants include Hank Lacayo, immediate past president of El Concilio; Bill Snow, the Economic Development Director of Santa Maria; John Dawson or Reconciliation International, Rick Cole, the City Manager of Azusa, and Wally Bobkiewicz, Santa Paula’s City Manager.If you would like to attend, call Paula Peters at 525.7118, ext 252. You can also respond by email to

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