Phase II Assessment Report

Greater Bakersfield Vision 2020 is a broad-based community endeavor to create a Vision for the Greater Bakersfield area and set in motion efforts to realize that Vision. The Vision will be a comprehensive, integrated picture of what the community wants the Greater Bakersfield area to be in 20 years.

The Vision will include the physical city and its infrastructure; the business and economic climate; educational strategies to improve the future workforce; and the desired quality of life of our community; the cultural, social and civic fabric of the city; the environment, and the health and welfare of our residents.

The Vision will be created through a broad-based, collaborative, consensus-based process involving business, the City of Bakersfield, Kern County, the non-profit sector, and the community at large, including our youth. The anticipated timeline for this process is two years. The process is as important as the Vision and resulting action plans. A Facilitating Team of individuals representing the broad diversity of our community has come together to design and run this process.

The Vision will be actionable, that is, its elements will be translated into short and long term action plans to be recommended for implementation by the city, the county, business and industry, the non-profit sector, and individuals.

Map of Greater Bakersfield (Phase I Completed)

Participants List

What Phase II Was All About

During Phase 2, the assessment phase, conducted from September 1999 through January 2000, more than 12,500 residents from across the city voiced their opinion on what they perceived to be the strengths and weaknesses of Greater Bakersfield. This information, along with data detailing demographic, economic and other trends of the Greater Bakersfield area, will be the foundation for a shared vision which will build on our strengths and address major challenges.

How Information Was Gathered

As part of the assessment, residents were asked to prioritize our citys strengths and weaknesses. Two sets of questions were asked:

What do you like about Greater Bakersfield? What are our strengths?

What dont you like about Greater Bakersfield? What are our weaknesses?

Opportunities for input were provided throughout Greater Bakersfield to give the greatest number of people a chance to voice their opinion. The community rose to the challenge. Perhaps the largest number of people in our history, representing a diverse cross-section of the community, participated in the assessment phase, including a broad segment of our youth.

Input was obtained through:

  • Interactive community meetings held throughout the community (10)
  • Interactive mini-meetings organized by businesses, educational institutions, neighborhood collaboratives, and other community based groups (19)
  • Interactive youth meetings in high school social studies classes and youth organizations
  • Written surveys from email, drop boxes, mail, and fax.

The input obtained was prioritized and compiled in the following manner:

  • At every interactive meeting, participants were asked to list the strengths and weaknesses of our community and then, as a group, prioritize the items listed.This provided an opportunity for discussion and consensus.
  • Results from each interactive meeting were compiled, mailed back to participants for confirmation, then posted on the Community Input Page.
  • Written survey responses were limited to a listing of five strengths and five weaknesses. These responses were compiled separately from those of interactive meetings since there was no opportunity for discussion and consensus. The results, however, were very similar to those obtained in the interactive meetings, reflecting the broad consensus across the community of our strengths and challenges.
  • The responses from the meetings were converted into a percentage basis to be equally weighted.

In every case, care was taken to capture the meaning of what was being said while respecting individual viewpoints and comments. The complete listing of all input posted on the Community Input Page is true to that commitment.