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ABOUT MCN

ABOUT US AND OUR MISSION

Moraga Citizens Network is a non-profit, grassroots organization dedicated to encouraging civic, recreational, and community engagement in the Town of Moraga. By providing non-partisan, factual information on events, opportunities, and issues, we promote and foster awareness, participation, and a sense of belonging to all who reside or work in the Town, or visit the Moraga Community.

How do we implement our dedication to “encouraging civic, recreational, and community engagement in the Town of Moraga”?

  • By writing and sending out the MCN Link 2 times per month to well over 2100 subscribers with lots of ways to participate.
  • By having an active social media presence through Facebook and Instagram
  • By promoting and inviting people to the State of the Town Luncheon in December
  • By taking the lead in forming a new Citizen of the Year committee that honors outstanding people who have made significant contributions to our town

How do we “provide non-partisan, factual information on events, opportunities, and Issues”?

  • By organizing and hosting a Candidates Night every two years for Town Council candidates, and candidates for other elected bodies
  • By using neutral, factual language in The MCN Link
  • By requiring each board member to commit to giving no public support of any town council candidate for the duration of their term of office

How do we “promote and foster awareness, participation, and a sense of belonging?

  • By reaching out to residents through having a booth at the town festivals
  • By using The MCN Link to publicize surveys, planning department workshops, and Town Council and Planning Commission meetings
  • By creating a website that holds a CALENDAR of what’s happening all over Moraga, a page that showcases all of our PARKS AND OPEN SPACES, a page that lists all 44 of our CITIZENS OF THE YEAR, and by listing all of the ORGANIZATIONS where people can participate, including how to contact each of them

If you are interested in joining us in this effort by either serving on the MCN Board or becoming an MCN Ambassador, please contact us.

FOUNDED IN 2005

A group of about 25 residents gathered in January of 2005 at the Moraga Library to discuss its dreams and concerns about Moraga. It soon became clear that what was needed was a public that was more informed and involved in the affairs of Moraga. The outcome was Moraga Citizens Network, with a vision to “promote participatory democracy in Moraga”.

At the time, all members were urged to attend at least one Council meeting per quarter and to regularly read the minutes of each meeting. By speaking up at Council meetings, we were able to ask for specific changes that allowed our town government to become more transparent.

As an example of our early work, we were able to help the town staff publicize several important town meetings about the Specific Plan for the Moraga Center. As a result, we had at-capacity attendance and involvement of the town’s residents who in turn, helped shape the plan. 

From the beginning, MCN opted to use email as a way to communicate with the community. Originally, an email newsletter was sent out every few weeks as a way to keep people connected and informed. In 2008 “The MCN Link” was officially launched, with the agreement that it would be emailed on Monday mornings, every two weeks.  Again, the primary focus was to facilitate awareness about town issues that impacted the whole community. 

OUR EVOLUTION

Each election season since 2006, Moraga Citizens Network has planned, publicized, and hosted a Candidates’ Night where all candidates for Town Council seats speak and are then asked questions by audience members.

Our guiding principle through the years has been to be an objective, informative voice in Moraga that takes no position on issues. Our belief is that if the people know what topics are under discussion, where to read the relevant documents, and what meetings are being held, people can and will participate. Participation by many informed people will generate better decisions for our Town and create a healthy, vital community.

Starting in 2010, the role of MCN began to expand to include information about town service organizations, events, programs at Saint Mary’s, and a host of other offerings happening throughout the year. This shift was lauded  by recipients of the MCN Link and participation at events across all of these community based events increased greatly.  Additionally, Moraga Citizens Network has strengthened connections between people, families, and organizations 

In 2014, MCN’s by-laws and mission was officially changed to reflect this broader focus and continues on today as MCN works to foster participation and adapt to our community’s ever changing needs.