Source: mercurynews.com | Re-Post MNM Partners, LLC 12/21/2017 –
Several dozen women and men sat in a conference room here the other day, preparing for the upcoming mobilization: the thousands of people who will sit down in small groups around the Bay Area this month to talk about the housing crisis and what’s to be done about it.
The goal is to inspire a wave of advocacy and innovation around a seemingly intractable Bay Area problem. Organized by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the region-wide conversation called “On the Table” begins Wednesday. The Foundation has enlisted more than 700 volunteers, including the people in the conference room, to host sessions that are expected to attract thousands of brainstorming citizens — perhaps the front line of a new movement.
“We are building a platform for civic engagement,” Mauricio Palma, the foundation’s director of initiatives and special projects, told the group. Ask questions, he suggested, but don’t weigh down your guests with any particular agenda. Over coffee or a meal, just sit back and listen to the stories that emerge about how people’s lives are shaped by the spiraling cost of housing, the displacement of low-income and middle-class workers, the long commutes.