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Public Engagement Signposts – February 2014

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

City of Brawley develops special teaching units for high school students focused on local government

In the City of Brawley CA, educators at Brawley Union High School, working with Brawley City Manager Rosanna Moore, Council Member Sam Couchman and other local officials, have developed two special teaching units for high school students, one focused on the city council and the other on the courts.  Among the objectives are a better student understanding of city government responsibilities and local issues, as well as of the role of local, state and federal courts, the responsibilities of court officers and significance of jury duty. The Mayor and City Council members, as well as judges, are invited to campus, and during school hours the students make field trips to City Hall and to the local court house to attend city hall meetings and court sessions.  Additionally, the students are mentored by city and court personnel and may assist with campaigns and voter drives. For information, contact Principal Simon Canalez: scanalez@brawleyhigh.org

“Is Demography Political Destiny?/ Population Change and California’s Future Electorate”

From the UC Davis Center for Regional Change, see “Is Demography Political Destiny?/ Population Change and California’s Future Electorate-Revised” in the California Civic Engagement Project’s Policy Brief Issue 7 (January 2014).This Brief examines who will be California’s future eligible voters; how the state’s future demographic trends might reshape California’s vote; and how changes in California’s regional population will affect the political strength of underrepresented groups. Download this document here.

Making Public Participation Legal

Making Public Participation Legal is a new publication of the national Civic League. It includes a set of tools, including a model ordinance, set of policy options, and a resource list to help local agencies and their communities improve public participation and engagement.  With contributors including the International City/County Management Association, Deliberative Democracy Consortium, American Bar Association, International Municipal Lawyers Association and others, this publication is for those exploring strategies to better embed face-to-face and online processes in the way governments work. Find this publication here.

A book you may have missed!

Democratizing Deliberation: A Political Theory Anthology from Kettering Foundation Press does a great job bringing together cutting-edge political theory scholarship on deliberative democracy.  The book’s authors, some of the best thinkers in the field, provide a deliberation genealogy and suggest deliberation not as one or more narrow and esoteric techniques but as a means to broadly strengthen democracy by cultivating citizen capacities to make a difference in the lives of their communities. A thoughtful, thought provoking and important contribution, especially for those interested in the most significant civic and democratic outcomes from deliberative skills and practices. Available through Kettering Foundation Press for $15.95 plus shipping. To order click here or call 1-800.600.4060.

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