Case Study: Long Beach Oversight Committee - I-710 Freeway Major Corridor Study
The Long Beach Oversight Committee project had the goal of involving residents, businesses and key stakeholders of Long Beach in a discussion and planning process regarding the design and potential improvements to the I-710 Freeway. There was a desire on the part of planners to gather large scale community input on a possible redesign in order that the redesign would reflect the needs of the community, directly from the community, and address their issues and concerns. Diverse Strategies for Organizing, Inc. (DSO) provided all community outreach services for the Oversight Committee.


D.S.O. provided a myriad of community outreach services for this 2-phase project. To begin, D.S.O held a series of Public Meetings. The goal of the Public Meetings was to begin a dialogue with the community, educate them on the goals of the project, listen and understand the issues as the community saw them, and gather this information into a comprehensive document for the client, from which D.S.O could make recommendations to the client on next steps, including a possible redesign. In total, nine community meetings were held, with a total of 1,006 people attending. D.S.O. also gathered written comments for the Oversight Committee.

As a result of the information gathered at the Public Meetings, D.S.O. provided a report to and made a recommendation to the Oversight Committee that further work with the community was necessary. D.S.O. saw the need for Roundtable Workshops that would addresses 5 critical issues that were reoccurring themes: loss of property; impacts of property and neighborhoods; health, environment and noise; truck congestion and impacts; and port issues. The four resultant workshops that D.S.O. planned and facilitated, entitled Health and Environmental Concerns; Preserving Neighborhoods; Port Operations and the I-710 Freeway; Truck Congestion and Safety, brought together residents and experts to allow for extensive interaction, real dialogue around the issues, and a deeper level of community involvement. Each workshop had an attendance of approximately 60 people, and D.S.O. worked with Caltrans, The Gateway Cities Council of Governments, The South Coast Air Quality Management District, the City of Long Beach Health Department, the California Highway Patrol, the Port of Long Beach, the Alameda Corridor Transportation Agency, the Independent Real Estate Appraisers, and the California Trucks Association to bring experts and members from these organizations to the workshops. D.S.O. also did outreach to key stakeholders, including but not limited to schools, faith based organizations, Elected Officials, community based organizations, home owner associations, neighborhood watch groups, senior citizen groups and local businesses, to bring them to both the Public Meetings and the Roundtable Workshops and worked with the leadership of the organizations to enlist their support for recruitment purposes.

In addition to the planning, outreach and recruitment, staffing and facilitation of the Public Meetings and Roundtable Workshops, D.S.O. provided community outreach services including but not limited to flyer distribution, recruitment phone calls, residential and business canvassing, development of collateral materials, development and maintenance of project database, written and oral translation services, and periodic reports including a final report and final recommendation to the Oversight Committee.

As a result of the series of Public Meetings and Roundtable Workshops and the community input gathered, a consensus design was developed that would have independent truck lanes going North and South, with 5 lanes each traveling North and South. Furthermore, the design plan did away with property acquisition and eminent domain was not necessary. The unique design plan would not have been possible with out the depth of communication with the community that came out of the series of meetings.

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