Stories

Even While Apart, San Antonio’s Working Together to Envision the Future

By SA2020 | Nov 23 2020

When COVID-19 hit San Antonio, Texas, institutions showed their ability to quickly shift the way they work to ensure the health of the community: halting evictions for public housing, providing mobile hotspots, and suspending cut-offs of utility services. Sustainably recovering from the crisis—and driving progress long beyond it—requires targeted investments informed by San Antonians most impacted by systemic inequities. We know this because the last ten years have proven it.

In 2010, nearly 6,000 people created a shared vision for the future of San Antonio, prioritizing 11 Community Results and 62 Community Indicators. Today, the momentum for San Antonio’s shared Community Vision has never been stronger. In the midst of a global public health crisis, more than 12,000 San Antonians have reaffirmed and strengthened the shared Community Vision for another decade. This shared Vision is important for what it says, and for how it pushes institutions to coordinate and align to meet the needs of San Antonians. 

To strengthen the Community Vision for the next decade, Team SA2020 first asked San Antonians what they most wanted to see maintained and improved in the next ten years—a callback to the original questions asked in 2010. When COVID-19 hit, we reached out to the community again to ask which Community Results they would prioritize over the next decade, as well as their current concerns and needs amid the pandemic. Working with our multi-sector Partners and community Ambassadors, we heard from thousands of San Antonians and began to draft the updated Community Vision, informed by the community’s responses. You can see more about these respondents and their answers here.

We then sent the draft Community Results (defining what we want to achieve by working together) and Community Indicators (measuring our progress toward them) to 80 local content experts. These San Antonians were identified based on their professional and lived experiences related to each Community Result, and they helped us refine the language and better determine the availability and significance of the Community Indicators. 

And then, of course, we reached back out to the community. In our final phase of strengthening the Community Vision, we asked San Antonians to help us finalize those Community Results and Community Indicators. Did people agree with how we’d summed up their priorities? Which Community Indicators were most important—and which were missing? People were asked to choose an area they were most passionate or curious about (or choose several!) and then share their thoughts about what had been drafted. 

To gather that input, we hosted virtual community conversations in partnership with students at UTSA throughout October and hosted an online form through October and most of November. More than 350 San Antonians have shared their feedback through community conversations and via the online form. And while some folks have been engaged in every part of the process, nearly 50% of those who reviewed the Results and Indicators told us they hadn’t yet participated this year.

Below, you can see more about the responses to our call for feedback. See which Community Result statements resonated most with San Antonians and which need some additional work. Take a look at which Indicators were most frequently selected across Results. You can even see what San Antonians chose to review, broken down by demographics, here. (And, if you haven’t yet shared your input, you can do so here.)

Based on the community’s responses and feedback, our team is now finalizing the Community Vision that will help guide San Antonio through the next decade. As we recover from COVID-19, we know that a shared vision for the future is more important than ever before, and we’re proud that, even in the midst of a crisis, San Antonio and SA2020 have set the precedent that every ten years San Antonians will envision the future together. On January 29th, 2021, we’ll unveil that updated Community Vision and release this year’s Community Impact Report—mark your calendars!

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