The Reconnecting Communities Advisory Group voted to change its name during its second meeting on May 17, in a move aimed at giving the body a stronger local identity.
The group was established to outline a comprehensive perspective for 710 Freeway stub. It is charged with formulating an initial blueprint that defines the future utilization of land, the scope of development, and requirements for infrastructure.
Wednesday, the group opted to include a reference to the 710 Corridor in its title. The decision came after a robust discussion on the importance of the group’s identity and its relationship with the community it serves.
The chosen new name, “Reconnecting Communities 710 Advisory Group,” was selected to more clearly identify the geographic area the group will focus on.
“It’s very, very positive. To me, the 710 just kind of points out the geographic area,” said one group member during the discussion. “We’re taking the 710, we’re reconnecting the communities that were cut in half literally by the freeway proposition.”
The group’s decision, however, will still have to be submitted to the City Council for approval, as the body was initially created by the council.
The renaming of the group signifies its ongoing commitment to reconnecting communities that have been separated by infrastructure like the 710 freeway.
The meeting also saw members discuss the potential implications of a name change on the group’s standing with the Federal Highway Administration.
The general consensus was to maintain a name that clearly describes the group’s function and purpose, aligning with the federal department’s emphasis on public outreach.
“I think that reconnecting communities by itself is a little maybe too general,” added another member. “And then this pinpoints it that it’s the 710 reconnecting communities. That is our focus and our purpose as an advisory group.”
Group members highlighted the importance of public engagement in their work, noting that a more specific name could help attract local residents to their meetings.
“When we get out in the community, I want the community to know what we are having meetings about,” said a group member. “I think reconnecting communities without saying reconnecting 710 communities might not bring as many people out as to what we’re doing.”