Townsend Public Affairs (TPA) participated in the Senate Education Committee’s Informational Hearing on Community Schools. Senator Carol Liu, Chair of the Committee, hosted a tour across the State focused on community school projects that came to an end with the Senate informational hearing in hope of finding policy changes that alleviate hurdles to developing these types of projects. Senator Liu invited longtime TPA client, the Emery Unified School District to speak at the hearing to discuss their full service community school project in partnership with another TPA client, the City of Emeryville.
The City of Emeryville has been a client of TPA’s for nearly seven years and lies on the east shore of San Francisco Bay between Oakland and Berkeley, directly opposite the Golden Gate and San Francisco. The city is small, just over one square mile, but its strategic location in the center of the Bay Area urban core at the confluence of several major freeways, one of the world’s busiest bridges, and transcontinental rail lines with service to Seattle, Los Angeles, and Chicago makes it a highly desirable place to live, work, and shop, while the Emery Unified School District (EUSD) has been a client of TPA’s for over five years and has a total enrollment of about 800 students per school year. EUSD is made up of two schools, Anna Yates Elementary (K-7) and Emery Secondary School (8-12).
EUSD and the City of Emeryville are developing a joint occupancy project that will be the first of its kind in California, called the Emeryville Center for Community Life (ECCL). ECCL will be a full service community school, providing not only K-12 public education, but also a full range of City services to the residents of Emeryville. Emeryville Superintendent Debbra Lindo spoke about the challenges EUSD and City have faced in the ten year development of this project and made suggestions as to why and how policy changes should be made to promote projects such as ECCL. TPA appreciates Senator Liu’s leadership with community schools, and looks forward to working with her on this important policy issue.