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Public Engagement Signposts – April 2014

This regular feature of ILG’s Public Engagement E-news offers useful information and resources about public engagement practices, innovations and ideas from sources in California and elsewhere.

City of Vallejo Budget Assemblies Result in 620 Ideas

At multiple community meetings in February and March of 2014, after being informed about the budget by City and Participatory Budgeting staff, City of Vallejo residents and stakeholders met in small groups to brainstorm budget ideas as part of this City’s current annual budget cycle. These meetings were open to any Vallejo resident or others who work, volunteer or own a business in Vallejo – regardless of age.

This second participatory budgeting effort in Vallejo includes these face to face public meetings as well as online public involvement in budget idea generation, review and discussion. More than 600 ideas have been submitted. Some community members have volunteered as “budget delegates” who, following an orientation process, meet in committees, with the support of city staff, to transform the community’s initial project ideas into full proposals. Budget delegates will then submit final project proposals to the City for review. Then in October 2014, residents will vote on which projects to fund. The projects having the most votes presented to the City Council for consideration. Click here to see the more than 600 ideas submitted by Vallejo residents. Click here for more information.

Portland’s Public Involvement Principles

Those with an interest in how cities and counties can develop a sustained commitment to public engagement may be interested in the City of Portland’s Public Involvement Principles (which includes indicators and outcomes). Adopted initially by Portland in 2010, these principles continue to guide the City’s public involvement and engagement policies strategies, best practices, training and evaluation. To view this document, click here. Portland has also established a Diversity and Civic Leadership Program to increase constituent participation in the civic governance of the City. For more information, visit their website.

Stakeholder and Citizen Roles in Public Deliberation

For those with an eye out for interesting and useful academic and scholarly articles on public engagement and deliberation topics, this is a good one. Published in the Journal of Public Deliberation (Volumn9/Issue2/Article 2), the authors (David Kahane, Kristjana Loptson, Jade Herriman and Max Hardy) take up important  theoretical and practical distinctions between the involvement of individual citizens and organized groups in public participation processes convened by government as part of policy development. For those thinking about engagement and deliberation, issues of participation and process design this will be thought provoking. Available here.

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