By Agenda Breakdown
Stay informed about important issues that are making their way through SLO County government, even when you don't have time for public meetings. Each episode covers one local issue and one specific action item, in about 10 minutes.
Civics 101: public meetings, demystified
Have you ever been to a city council meeting? Odds are good that the answer is no. After all, weeknights are really busy when you've got a job to wake up for, kids to tuck in, rent to worry about ... But here's the thing. The relatively small number of community members who DO attend public meetings don't often represent the range of backgrounds and priorities that exist in the community at large. One of the reasons I started this podcast was to encourage more types of people to participate in local government. Cities need diverse participation in order to have fair representation. So the goal of this episode is to make city council and other public meetings seem more approachable. Journalist Robin Epley helps me break it down: how public meetings are structured, how to participate, how to make sure your voice is heard when you don't have hours to spare. Action Item: Read the article Robin wrote when she covered government for at the Enterprise-Record in Chico: "How do city council meetings work? Here’s a primer." Then go to San Luis Obispo's website and subscribe to their email updates so you'll know when an issue you care about is coming up for a vote. Bonus Item: Make a pledge to speak during public comment or email your council members at least once this year. If you can do that, you'll be helping to make sure citizens like you are represented when local decisions are made. Episode produced by Francisco Martinez. Music by Wes Bisheff. Follow Agenda Breakdown on Instagram for update and action opportunities. Subcribe to Agenda Breakdown on Spotify, Apple, or wherever you get your podcasts—and if you liked the show, please leave us a review!
January 23, 2022
How to influence city policy without running for office
Advisory committees are an opportunity for volunteers from the community to advise city council on issues like housing developments, bike lanes, parks and rec, trees ... whatever your interest, there is probably an advisory body for you. Applications are now open for 15 of those committees in San Luis Obispo. Active Transportation Committee veteran Lea Brooks talks with me about what it's like to serve on an advisory body and how to get involved. Action item: Visit the San Luis Obispo city web page that lists the current advisory body vacancies. Read the descriptions, and find the committee that's right for you. Then submit your application by Jan. 16. If you're interested in an advisory body that doesn't currently have a vacancy, fill out a Job Interest Card and select the category “Community Services.” That way, if an unscheduled vacancy happens during the year, the city will email you to let you know. Episode produced by Francisco Martinez. Music by Wes Bisheff. Follow Agenda Breakdown on Instagram for update and action opportunities.
December 17, 2021
What does "redistricting" mean and why should we care?
There's been a lot of chatter lately about redistricting, which is a process that SLO County is going through right now. If you heard about it and your eyes glazed over, don't worry, you're not alone. Cal Poly political science professor Michael Latner talks with me about what redistricting means, how SLO County's district boundaries can impact our lives, and how we can all have a say on boundary maps. Action item: look at the draft maps to see how your district would be affected, then email the county supervisors about your preferences: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also give public comment during the Nov. 19 meeting. Agenda will post here. Episode produced by Francisco Martinez. Music by Wes Bisheff. Follow Agenda Breakdown on Instagram for update and action opportunities.
November 15, 2021
A new home for the SLO police station
San Luis Obispo's police station is old and run-down. Is a new Public Safety Center the solution? This question will come to city council at a time when cities are reimagining what local law enforcement and community safety should look like. City Engineer Brian Nelson talks with me about what the project would entail. Action item: read the staff report and submit public comment before the Nov. 2 city council study session. Episode produced by Francisco Martinez. Music by Wes Bisheff.
October 28, 2021
What happens when the mayor resigns?
On Sept. 21, San Luis Obispo mayor Heidi Harmon stepped down with more than a year left in her term. I talk with SLO city clerk Teresa Purrington about how city council plans to fill the vacancy and how SLO residents can weigh in on the decision. Action item: submit public comment before the Oct. 5 city council meeting. Produced by Francisco Martinez. Music by Wes Bisheff.
September 27, 2021