Community Engagement (SLFRF)
The City of San Antonio obtained feedback for Phase I of the two-year strategy as part of the community input process for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget. The input process included both in person and survey data collection. Resident participation in the data collection was promoted through many channels, including:
- Paid digital radio
- Social media
- Print advertising
The City advertised paid and organic posts throughout June and July of 2021 to promote budget input and town hall events.
Emails to Past
Town Hall Meeting
Yard Signs at
Parks & Libraries
The data collection surveys, and all promotional efforts were made available in English and Spanish and targeted efforts were directed in areas of the city with historically low participation.
With this input, City staff developed a proposal, that included community priorities for State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF). The plan was presented at each of the 10 Council Districts through a series of in person, virtual and citywide telephone town hall meetings. Town hall meetings were being promoted using similar outreach methods used in the data collection process. Town hall meetings took place from mid-August through the first week in September of 2021. San Antonio residents were encouraged to participate in the town hall meetings in person, on TVSA, the City’s Facebook page, on local and cable television channels, and by dialing 210-207-5555.
In November 2021, the City hosted eight community meetings and conducted outreach to seniors to gather feedback from residents regarding their priorities for the use of SLFRF. Widespread social media efforts were used to advertise the meetings and survey. A survey was made available from November 18 to December 1, 2021.
In addition, the City Council requested that the Small Business Advisory Commission (SBAC) be engaged to discuss the needs and priorities of small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Three public meetings with SBAC were held on November 17, November 29, and December 4, 2021, to garner input from the small business community. During the three listening sessions, SBAC received input from the small business survey, two written statements, and comments.
Implementation Plan Development
From the fall of 2022 through the spring of 2023, the City continued its engagement with the community through the development of the implementation plans for the six categories of the spending framework for which City Council requested the involvement of City Council Committees. The spending framework categories include Arts, Small Business, Youth, Seniors, Non-Profit Social Services, and Digital Connectivity. Meetings were conducted with City Council Committees to guide plan development and community input was sought for the development of these plans. Once a program implementation plan was approved by the Council Committee, it was presented to the City Council for consideration and approval.
The City Council committees involved in the development of the implementation plans were the following:
- The Public Safety Council Committee guided the implementation plan for the Mental Health spending category.
- The Economic & Workforce Development Committee guided implementation plans for Small Business, Youth, and Digital Connectivity.
- The Community Health, Environment and Culture Council Committee guided the implementation plans for Seniors, Arts, and Non-Profit Social Services.
The City Council has approved all implementation plans, except for Digital Connectivity. For this category, the City leveraged allocated funds through a joint solicitation with Bexar County in lieu of an implementation plan. These meetings were made available to the public through various methods to aid in reducing barriers to services at AT&T channel 99, Grande channel 20, Spectrum channel 21, digital antenna 16, and TVSA. The meetings were also available by calling 210-207-5555 (English and Spanish available).
The points below provide a brief overview of the community engagement efforts that have occurred during implementation plan development:
- Council Committees held public meetings to guide the development of implementation plans.
- Community meetings and outreach events, stakeholder meetings, and informational and technical assistance sessions for open Request for Proposals (competitive solicitations)
- Meetings with various external commissions and committees, such as the San Antonio Arts Commission, San Antonio Youth Commission, City/ County Joint Commission on Elderly Affairs, Successfully Aging and Living in San Antonio Coalition, South Texas Adult Protective Services Board, Bexar County Senior Advisory Committee, SA 2020 Commission on Education, and The Nonprofit Council
The City continues to provide periodic ARPA updates to the City Council and residents on progress, such as program performance and spending activity. The community is invited to join by viewing the meeting sessions through TVSA or visiting SASpeakUp, which is the community's one-stop website to participate in City Council meetings, surveys, events and more. The City also maintains a dedicated ARPA website where visitors can learn about how ARPA-funded programs are being utilized, review financial reports, and view the ARPA Dashboard. This website is reviewed and updated frequently to reflect current progress. Additionally, City staff are working on a new interactive dashboard that will replace the existing version, which will be launched in the fall of 2023.