Increasing Outreach


Going Beyond the Usual Participants

Research, resources and case stories to help ensure that participation in public engagement efforts more fully reflect the demographics of your community.

This includes information about ways to work with community partners to engage a broader cross section of the community, including youth and  immigrant residents, as well as how to work more effectively with clergy and congregations.


Expand Your Agency’s Community Networks

Many local officials have a rich network of community relationships, yet this list of groups may not come to mind when a public agency is planning a public meeting. Use this inventory of various kinds of community organizations to help broaden the reach of your public engagement and create a ready resource for each engagement effort.

Case Story

San Jose’s Strong Neighborhoods Initiative Empowers Residents

In spite of the economic downturn and the loss of redevelopment dollars, the City of San Jose has been able to sustain a level of community engagement through a Neighborhood Council which helps steer economic development priorities in underserved neighborhoods. The city council has now made the Neighborhood Council a permanent part of its decision-making process.

Case Story

Humboldt County Engages the Public to Inform its Economic Development Strategy

In an effort to create a comprehensive economic development strategy for the region, Humboldt County engaged more than 450 stakeholders ranging from business owners and elected officials to community members, education professionals and tribal leaders.

Case Story City of South Gate

South Gate’s Path to Community Participation and a Healthier Community

Ten years after a highly publicized corruption scandal, the City of South Gate is implementing a visionary general plan that seeks to develop a healthy, inclusive and economically vibrant community that is rich in community participation and transparency. The city invested almost one million dollars to develop the plan, which included extensive community participation. As a result of the robust public engagement process and the visionary updated general plan, South Gate has received numerous grants to support its implementation and related projects.  


Building Relationships with Ethnic Media: the Fastest Growing Sector of American Journalism

Local agencies across California can and do partner with local ethnic media outlets to engage and inform residents who turn to ethnic media as their primary source of news. The National Online Directory of Ethnic Media, the most comprehensive listing of ethnic media, can help local officials identify media outlets by city, language, ethnicity, and media type.


“Shout Out” to Youth about Local Civics and Careers in City Government

This article describes ways local officials and staff can reach out to youth and give them a better understanding of local government and the career opportunities in local public service.