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Welcome to the inaugural issue of East Palo Alto Information, an information resource and community guide. East Palo Alto Information will provide information about public and private agencies serving East Palo Alto .

Not so long ago, at a local leadership class . a seasoned public service practitioner pointed out that one of the key responsibilities of a citizen is to know, and I paraphrase his statement/observation, “what door of government (or non government) they should knock at to receive services they might need” Government he went on to observe had so many “doors” as in levels and types of government.

There are services that are provided by the state and maybe only by the state; some services are provided by counties, town or city councils, some by school, fire, sanitation and a myriad of special districts; some services are provided by private for and not for profit entities under contract from a public body. Even more confusing to citizens is the constant realization that more than one entity may be providing services to citizens in any one specific area. Residents would have to know which special district area of influence they may or may not belong to.

Little surprise then, that residents of East Palo Alto may be confused to discover the array of entities that provide needed services to them. They may become rightfully frustrated at government believing that their taxes were not appropriately being used to offer them services they needed and deserved. I oft, in my several decades of public service, heard citizens complain that the government was giving them the run a round when at times the problem was simply a case of going to the wrong place to seek specific public services.

In East Palo Alto, there are, including the state, thirteen governmental entities providing public services. East Palo Alto Information Resource and Community guide will assist residents in identifying and “knocking” at the right door in their search for services, both public and or private. To the extent that it will be mailed to every resident in the community, as well as made available to all organization reception areas, the guide will provide an invaluable vehicle to local businesses to reach the approximately 30,000 children, parents, youth seniors’ adults and workers in East Palo Alto. There are approximately 500 locally based businesses in East Palo Alto and over 80 not for profit community based organizations.

Meda O. Okelo, Publisher

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