Engaging the Public

Overview

Engaging the Public

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Elected officials make decisions as representatives of their communities. However, they also play a role in bringing the public’s voice to the decision-making process.  To assist local agency officials and staff with this task, the Institute offers a variety of resources relating to the whys and hows of public engagement practices.

 

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Image of Public Participation in Local Government Decision Making

Public Participation in Local Government Decision Making

This comprehensive survey compares the perspectives of local government officials and community leaders on public participation in California. Both sectors share a concern for the disconnect between the public and local government decision-making, and both are seeking broader public engagement and stronger collaboration.

A printable infographic that highlights the research findings and recommendations along with the full reports and their companion executive summaries are available (to the right) for download.

Resource

Principles of Local Government Public Engagement

Image of Principles of Local Government Public EngagementTen principles that can serve as helpful indicators of effective and ethical public engagement practices, as well as guide city, county and other local officials in the design of public engagement processes and strategies.

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What Is Public Engagement and Why Do It?

What Is Public Engagement and Why Do It?

Information to help local officials better understand how to get residents involved. Then, Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian talks tools for getting public input, and the importance of engaging the public.

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Planning Public Engagement: Key Questions for Local Officials

Image of Planning Public Engagement: Key Questions for Local OfficialsKey questions for local officials to ask to increase the appropriateness and effectiveness of their public engagement efforts.

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Beyond the Usuals: Ideas to Encourage Broader Public Involvement in Your Community

Local officials often find that only a relatively small number of community members actually take part in public conversations and forums.  A failure to involve a cross-section of residents limits the effectiveness of these public engagement efforts and negatively impacts the breadth and quality of ideas contributed. It can also reduce community support for the final decisions. This publication provides ten essential strategies to extend participation and increase the views and voices in a community’s public engagement activities.

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Image of Public Meetings and Public Engagement 101

Public Meetings and Public Engagement 101

The slides (attached at right) were presented to local officials new to local public service.  Materials and resources aim to help an agency clarify its public engagement purposes, identify who an agency wants to reach and involve, and choose the public engagement approach that best fits its purpose and participation goals.

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