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SAT/SUN, MARCH 15 & 16

Media Contact: David Perry & Associates, Inc / David Perry
(415) 693-0583 / cell: (415) 676-7007 / news@davidperry.com

WHAT: Threshold 2008
A Countywide Assembly on Housing Choices for San Mateo County

WHEN: Saturday & Sunday, March 15 & 16
8am ‘til 5pm: sessions
5pm ‘til 7pm: reception (Saturday only)

WHERE: Caņada College / Building 3, Main Theatre
4200 Farm Hill Boulevard
Redwood City, CA 94061

WEBSITE: www.threshold2008.org

WHY: How do we address the housing needs of our community? What are the choices and trade-offs? What do the people of San Mateo County want their leaders to do? On the weekend of March 15-16, Threshold 2008 (www.threshold2008.org) will convene a Countywide Assembly on Housing Choices at Caņada College in Redwood City. At the Assembly, 400 residents of San Mateo County will engage in two days of deliberation focused on solutions to address the region’s future housing needs.

Participants in this unprecedented assembly are a scientifically selected random sample of the county population – a microcosm of San Mateo County in one room. The method of deliberation being used by Threshold 2008 is a combination of facilitated small group discussions and plenary sessions in which participants ask questions of experts. The weekend has been organized by Threshold 2008 working in coordination with Dr. Jim Fishkin and other experts from Stanford University’s Center for Deliberative Democracy.

“The value to decision makers is the opportunity to hear a cross section of the county population speaking in their own voices outside of the formal public process,” said Greg Greenway, Threshold 2008 Executive Director. “The goal of the weekend is to learn what kinds of housing options people are willing to accept and support if they are given a chance to become informed on the issues.”

"Local policymakers are pleased that there are people who are trying to find a different way to engage the citizens,” said San Mateo County Supervisor Rich Gordon. “It's an alternative approach that a lot of folks are interested in and hopeful about."

Threshold 2008 was formed to engage the public on housing issues and options in San Mateo County in order to ensure a better long-term quality of life for all who are affected by our housing choices. The Countywide Assembly will be followed by an Online Dialogue and series of Community Conversations to engage all those who have a stake in the county in this important discussion.