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For Immediate Release

Community Invited to Help Shape Regional Economy

Santa Rosa,CA | August 27, 2021

The Sonoma Mendocino Economic Development District (SMEDD) invites Sonoma and Mendocino County community members to help shape the regional economy. Community members can get involved by taking the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) Survey or by participating in a Community Think Tank, a virtual community forum. SMEDD will host two Community Think Tanks, the first on Thursday, September 9th, at 6:00 pm in English with Spanish translation and the second on Tuesday, September 14th, 6:00 pm in Spanish only. Input collected from the survey and Community Think Tanks will help inform a long-term economic development strategy.

“The collaboration between Sonoma and Mendocino is a powerful tool in moving forward with critical economic goals such as housing, workforce development, and economic growth. Our overall economic health and wellbeing impacts everyone in our community differently which is why it is so important to hear from the whole community on economic priorities,” said Sheba Person-Whitley, Executive Director for the Sonoma County Economic Development Board.

CEDS provides an economic regional roadmap for Sonoma and Mendocino counties and increases opportunities for future funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). Current community driven economic priorities outlined in the CEDS include environmental resiliency, technology and connectivity, economic diversity, supporting expanding businesses, and livability.

“This partnership provides an opportunity to coordinate and pool resources in our two-county region where joint planning can accomplish more for the region’s development than either county’s independent efforts. To that end, we are eager to gain insights from constituents to direct board and staff to help shape the future of the region’s economic development,” said Mike Nicholls, Board Chair for the Sonoma Mendocino Economic Development District.

The Community Think Tanks and survey will be facilitated by strategic and organizational expert, Economic and Planning Systems, in collaboration with the Sonoma Mendocino Economic Development District. Access to registration and CEDS Survey are available at Both Community Think Tank meetings will also be streamed live to Facebook at Participants are welcome to submit questions and comments in advance to


The Sonoma-Mendocino Economic Development District is a two-county partnership, created through a joint powers agreement in 2015, to engage in regional economic development planning. The District is responsible for overseeing completion and implementation of the Sonoma-Mendocino Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy.

The Sonoma-Mendocino Economic Development District’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy will be composed of community input and content from current regional plans: MOVE 2030, Strategic Sonoma, and The Sonoma County Economic Recovery Action Plan.