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Only in San Jose’s (OSJ) mission is to strategically EDUCATE, ENABLE, and EMPOWER everyday residents with the knowledge, skills, and resources to create the change they wish to see in their community. Through collective and strategic organizing, we can begin to transform the process of civic participation into a high functioning process of strategic problem solving for our most pressing issues.

Our mission is to prove the value of civic participation and community engagement by co-designing a process that centers the collective and lived experiences and expertises of the community. What happens when the community is set up for success and collectively focused on one problem?


Only in San Jose’s operates by and under the values of:

  • Collaboration: We are creating space for community members to work together and co-create more inclusive solutions that are equitable by design because they are led and designed by the community.

  • Social Equity: We believe that equity can only be achieved if those suffering from inequity are leading the charge, that any truly equitable solution is centered on their lived experiences of which they are the experts on. Through the Constitutional Convention we are creating space for them to shine.

  • Sustainability: Beyond the Constitutional Convention we are focusing on redefining the process of civic participation and community engagement. By designing an “iterative” process, we will be able to adapt to a more resilient and regenerative strategy. What we learn here can be applied to other commissions, committees, task forces, etc.

  • Compassion: This will not be a walk in the park but neither will it be like climbing Everest. Our strategy centers on building compassion and empathy through storytelling. Step by step, through the Constitutional Convention residents will begin to understand the ways in which to best navigate within their local governance structures. Likewise, Elected Officials and City Staff will begin to understand the untapped wealth of wisdom and gumption of their residents. 

  • Joy: We will be focusing on different ways of infusing joy into every nook and cranny of this journey. Get ready for the dad jokes, late night comedy skits, memes, and cat filters galore!

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