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Community Action Roadmap Step 4: Develop an Action Plan

Link to Home page of Community Action Roadmap    Link to Overview of Community Action Roadmap     Link to Step 1 Prioritize Goals and Concerns     Link to Step 2 Identify Levers for Change     Link to Step 3 Build Relationships     Link to Step 4 Develop an Action Plan     Link to Step 5 Make Your Case     Link to Step 6 Build Momentum for Change     Link to Resources in Community Action Roadmap
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For the next step in the process, collaborate with your partners to select a project and develop a robust action plan for achieving your goal. An action plan outlines the set of activities for your project and designates timing and leads for each activity. In addition, you will need to consider what engagement strategy will best support your project and define how you plan to measure success for your efforts. 

Check Your Ports Primer

Review section 4.1 “Tools for Influencing Ports Planning and Operations” for more ideas on what actions could help build support for change. Then, explore the case studies in the Ports Primer for Communities. Select which approaches might be a good fit for your community’s goals and describe why. 
Section 4.2: Port-Community Relations
Section 5.4: Land Use and Transportation
Section 6.4: Jobs and Benefits
Section 7.6: Environment
Section 8.3: Citizen Science

Try it Out!

  1. Pick a Project. What project will help you best meet the goal you established in Step 2?  Review the exercise under Check Your Ports Primer for Communities! for ideas of what has worked in similar communities. Consider what project makes sense for you to pursue now and what others you would like to keep in mind as you build your capacity and momentum. Also, consider whether a direct dialogue with port decision-makers at this time could be helpful for selecting a near-term project that engages the port collaboratively.

  2. Select Your Engagement Strategy. Review the engagement strategies chart below and determine which method is the most effective way for you to engage the community and decision-makers. Depending on where you are in the process, you may choose to focus on education, input, collaboration, mitigation, advocacy, or some combination.

  3. Develop an Action Plan. Develop a chart similar to the one below, and list each activity needed to accomplish your project. Then designate a lead and create a timeframe. Establish a regular check-in schedule between lead partners to stay coordinated and help each other problem-solve when you encounter roadblocks. Keep your supporters updated, motivated and involved.

  4. Define Success. Place a star next to key milestones in your action plan to evaluate and celebrate success. Review the two Measuring Success resources listed on the Community Action Roadmap: Resources page. What are some metrics for measuring your process and organizational capacity (building skills)? What metrics (methods for measuring) can help measure tangible outcomes? 

  5. Identify Resources. Reach out to partner agencies and organizations to identify grants, technical assistance, programs and other resources to help implement your project. If your organization is new, you can partner on grant applications to build your grant management track record, and ask agency staff for assistance.
Task (*=milestone) Description Lead Person or Organization Timeframe
Engagement Stategies
Engagement Strategy Example Actions Considerations
Build community support.
  • Distribute information about port activities, impacts and opportunities for public comment.
  • Provide peer-to-peer training using the Ports Primer for Communities or other educational materials.
  • Form a coalition of organizations focused on resolving the issue.
  • Builds broad-based support.
  • Ensures advocacy goals reflect issues and concerns from the broader community.
  • Builds capacity for outreach, problem solving and action.
Provide feedback to the port and regulators.
  • Provide feedback via public comment periods during formal decision-making processes (e.g., through the National Environmental Policy Act process).
  • Documents goals and concerns in a written record.
  • A potential approach if there is a significant document or project proposal under public review.
  • May influence further evaluation or alternative approaches. 
  • Commenting earlier in the process will have more potential to influence change. 
Develop port-community collaborations.
  • Share the community’s general goals and concerns with port-governing bodies or businesses, and conduct a dialogue to identify opportunities for collaborative projects that help achieve these goals.
  • Join a port citizen advisory group (or lobby to create one).
  • Serve on a port authority board.
  • Develop a specific collaboration between the port and community, such as piloting a new program.
  • Advantageous at any point in the process.
  • Empowers community to directly inform specific decisions.
  • Tends to be a more proactive, problem-solving role.
  • Builds productive relationships to tackle bigger issues in the future.
Act independently to mitigate port impacts.
  • Apply for community funding to mitigate an impact.
  • Pilot a new program through a local government or organization.
  • Seek opportunities to partner with state or local agencies.
  • A potential approach if communicating with port and related agencies is unproductive.
  • Empowers community to effect change independently.
  • Community may have more direct control over project design and implementation.
  • May mitigate only a portion of the full issue or concern.
Apply political or legal pressure on decision-makers.
  • Lobby elected officials.
  • Develop ways to hold the port authority and responsible agencies accountable for evaluating and reducing community impacts.
  • Negotiate for a community benefits agreement.
  • Pursue litigation if violations of laws are identified and not corrected.
  • A potential avenue if communicating with port and related agencies is unproductive over time. 
  • May promote more adversarial relationships.
  • Has potential to create more significant changes. 
  • May set precedents for progressive change in other near-port communities.
  • Litigation may cost more in time and money than other strategies.

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