Project engages culturally diverse parents in Proposition 10 decisions
California Agriculture 58(1):28-34. DOI: 10.3733/ca.v058n01p28.
California's Proposition 10, a tax on tobacco products passed in 1998, provides counties with funds to improve the health, education and school readiness of children up to age 5. A foundation-sponsored Civic Engagement Project (CEP) seeks to promote inclusive participation in Proposition 10 decisions by engaging a broad spectrum of parents and other community members. Based on our systematic evaluation of the CEP's initial years of work, we describe six different civic engagement tools adopted by counties, strengths and weaknesses of each, and what we learned about the conditions under which they are most effective. The results illuminate a key public challenge — how to welcome culturally and linguistically diverse Californians as active and valued participants in local civic processes while obtaining meaningful guidance for decision-making.
D. Campbell is Cooperative Extension Specialist, Community Studies, and Director, California Communities Program; J. Wright is Cooperative Extension Specialist, Emeritus, Department of Human and Community Development, UC Davis. The authors thank UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) personnel who served as local observers on the evaluation team: Gloria Brown, County Director, San Francisco and San Mateo counties; Rebecca Carver, past 4-H Youth Development Advisor, Yolo County; Faye Lee, 4-H Youth Development Advisor and Home Economist, San Francisco and San Mateo counties; Fe Moncloa, 4-H Youth Development Advisor, Santa Clara County; Shelley Murdock, 4-H Youth Development Advisor, Contra Costa County; Estella West, Family and Consumer Sciences Advisor, Santa Clara County; Martha Weston, Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program Statewide Program Manager, Nutrition Department, UC Davis (formerly with UCCE San Diego). Other local observers were Yvonne Ricketts and Anne Sanchez in Monterey County, and Sue Pierce in Santa Cruz County. Cathy Lemp conducted interviews with public participants in English and Claudia Sandoval and Gloria Widener interviewed Spanish-speaking participants. Foundations sponsoring the CEP included the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, James Irvine Foundation, Miriam and Peter Haas Fund, Peninsula Community Foundation and Walter and Elise Haas Fund.