Mountain View, CA: Mountain View Holds Conversations with Local Clergy on Local Issues
The City of Mountain View has convened dialogues involving elected officials and clergy periodically over the past few years. These conversations, held in an informal roundtable atmosphere, allowed participants to share information and perceptions and to discuss current issues together. The city has also worked through local congregations to inform residents about Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) trainings and informational meetings for apartment owners and tenants. “Local members of the clergy know things about our community that we don’t, and they can help us share information with residents,” observes the city manager.
A few years ago, the then-mayor organized a “thank you” luncheon for leaders from all faiths in this community, including clergy representing a Korean Christian Church and a Buddhist Temple, as well as a leader from a local Ananda spiritual community. The goals were to: 1) thank clergy for their community contributions, 2) share information, and 3) explore opportunities for collaboration on issues of common interest. “People may say, ‘Hey wait, there is supposed to be a separation of religion and state,’” acknowledges the former mayor, “but I say we are here not to talk politics but to work together to improve the community.”