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Environmental Justice Primer for Ports Good Neighbor Roadmap: Step 5. Develop a Good Neighbor Strategic Plan

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A Good Neighbor Strategic Plan provides a foundational document to inform community engagement for each future port policy and project update. The Plan is a comprehensive multi-year document developed with community input that should be reviewed and updated periodically (for example, every one-to-two years) to track goals and stay current and relevant. The Plan serves as an ongoing reference resource for port staff and the community by outlining how the port will address local concerns and goals across upcoming projects, decision documents, planning processes, and pilot projects or programs.

In this step, consider how the information developed through Steps 1-4 can be refined and captured in your Good Neighbor Strategic Plan.

On this page:

Digging Deeper Exercise

Process-based considerations for drafting the Good Neighbor Strategic Plan:

  • How can different stakeholder groups be engaged in drafting and reviewing the Good Neighbor Strategic Plan?
  • Which groups should be prioritized to ensure distributional equity (achieved by prioritizing those with highest need)?
  • Who are the key stakeholders outside of the port sector and community that need to be engaged? Are there strategic partnerships that would be helpful to achieve shared goals in near term?
  • How can greater social responsibility and accountability be institutionalized within different departments at the port? How can upcoming projects and plans be leveraged towards a new system of decision-making?
  • How can community goals be achieved through upcoming projects, plans and strategic documents? Are there goals that might not be addressed and need pilot projects, programs and initiatives?
  • What would be an effective timeline for community goals that reinforces port’s good neighbor policy?

Key sections

  1. Define a Good Neighbor Policy: develop a policy for community engagement based on the mission statement and assessments from steps 1 through 4.
    • Define areas of focus for the port as a Good Neighbor.
    • Define community engagement goals.
    • Define decision-making criteria and outcomes.
    • Define reporting mechanism and accountability measures.
  2. Develop an engagement plan: develop a community and stakeholder engagement plan enlisting stakeholder groups identified in Step 2. The plan should outline when, where and how the community will be engaged during the project.
    • Convene partners. Federal, state or local government staff or non-profit organizations can assist in convening.
    • Convene a Community Advisory Group to ensure equitable local representation.
    • Regularly update partnership goals and objectives.
    • Structure partnership agreements. Identify key partner roles and responsibilities.
    • Conduct a joint tour of the port and community with tour guides and attendees from both parties.
  3. Document community concerns and goals: document local concerns, establish measurable goals and develop performance measures in coordination with the community. This can be done based on the framework established in Step 3.
    • Document and prioritize community concerns and goals.
    • Conduct existing condition assessments.
    • Establish qualitative and quantitative performance measures to gauge progress.
  4. Identify levers for change: summarize your findings from Step 4, covering upcoming projects, plans,  pilot projects and programs that could relate to community goals.
    • Identify how upcoming projects, plans and strategic documents will contribute to community goals.
    • Identify specific actions in each process that can reduce community impacts or increase local benefits.
    • Consider pilot projects or new programs that can be established to meet community goals.
  5. Identify feasibility and mitigation studies: identify health, social or environmental assessments that may be needed to evaluate and quantify community concerns. These studies can inform key project plans with the greatest potential to address community goals.
    • Identify opportunities for assessments to consider cumulative impacts from past and future changes.
    • Work with the community to identify and address any technical assistance needs to ensure well-informed discussions.
  6. Establish tracking and reporting mechanisms: establish an implementation timeline for tracking progress and connecting with the near-port community.
    • Develop an implementation timeline with performance metrics and a monitoring and reporting process (e.g., periodic newsletters, annual progress reports for the community).
    • Identify specific points to engage the stakeholders.
    • Identify an internal coordination process to make sure all port departments are fully engaged.

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Try It Out!  Map out Your Strategic Plan

The table below provides a template for organizing upcoming plans and projects based on timing, community goals, stakeholders and other considerations. Use the table to walk through port-related decisions coming up in the next three to five years and, where possible, link those decisions to related community goals and performance measures. Explore different levels of engagement for each plan or project.

Timeframe Projects, Plans and Pilots Community Goals Performance Measure Key Stakeholder Groups for Engagement Level of Community Engagement

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