In March 2014 less than 50% of covenant members were registered to vote and the registration deadline for the next Board election was only a few weeks away.
Few residents were even aware that voter registration was not automatic on purchase of their covenant property. To increase participation a voter registration page RSFregister.com was designed for easy access to registration forms. To date, the voter registration form has been downloaded over 300 times. Now, over 75% of the community is registered to vote and it’s getting closer to 100% every week.
At the same time, there was a growing sentiment in the community that everyone’s voice wasn’t being heard… there needed to be a way to inform the community of important issues and to do so in such a way that anyone could easily participate.
To satisfy this growing need, Rancho Santa Fe Association News was founded. Now one year later, the news website has over 45,000 page views and nearly 150 published articles from contributors around the community. Over 30,000 newsletters have been emailed to residents, all aimed at informing everyone of important issues facing the Ranch. A Facebook page was also launched that has over 750 likes and over 3000 page views.
Covenant members are now able to access information on important issues as well as participate in the decision-making process. The last three community votes saw record breaking turnouts. With more members participating, there have already been a number of positive changes across the community.
The Association Board has made strides to improve transparency by posting meeting minutes online and investigating new ways to make the voter registration process easier, all while continuing the effort to encourage more members of the covenant to participate.
Moving forward, the Rancho Santa Fe Association News website and facebook page will continue to publish content that informs the public of important civic issues while allowing covenant members to have their voices heard.