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Community Outreach: What Makes A Street Safe?

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Youth Voices is working with students from Mountain View High School to explore El Monte/South El Monte and the surrounding communities. The students have formed teams to explore and investigate their communities, map assets, collect and share stories, data and community input for their projects. All the while they are learning and expanding their knowledge of digital media and civic engagement. Follow The Streets on Twitter @elmontestreets or all the Youth Voices projects by using #kcetyv.

The event we attended for our community outreach was Cafe Bibliotheque. It was held at Mountain View High School in March and hosted by the Media Center Advisory Board (MCAB). This event is held on campus several times a year to raise funds and give students a chance to dine on good food and be entertained.

Our team, The Streets, conducted two engagement activities during the cafe, these included using a postcard that asked, "What Makes a Street Safe?" This allowed participants to express their opinion on what should occur on Parkway Drive. We also had a map of the area surrounding MVHS, which included Parkway Drive. This gave participants at the Cafe an opportunity to share their thoughts about the whole area. The activity generated many responses, and the participants enjoyed expressing their viewpoints.

The postcard activity, generated comments with a large focus on street safety, which many streets, including Parkway -- lack. The comments we received from students and staff during the Cafe Bibliotheque included the following:

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The map provided us information on where we should focus our efforts. Participants placed sticker dots in areas of dire importance, where action is needed NOW! The RED stickers signifies a need for a stop sign. The YELLOW an urgency to repaint or create a new crosswalk. The BLUE identifies needed street or sidewalk repair. Finally the GREEN sticker signifies the need for trees or green space. Participants also wrote other ideas directly on the map. Below are some of the maps we received:

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Our outreach activity was successful overall. There were many suggestions and important issues pointed out by students and staff, many of which we have been highlighting throughout our project. This is an acknowledgement of the danger on Parkway Drive and the need to make it a safe and complete street.

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"City Rising: Youth & Democracy" follows the stories of youth leaders, allies and organizations as they challenge institutional and systemic issues through civic engagement. Learn more about the people and organizations featured in this season.