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Public Engagement

Overview

Public Engagement

The Institute offers a variety of publications to help local officials more effectively apply 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?

This publication has information to help local officials better understand how to get residents involved. 

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Community Leadership Programs: Empowering Future Leaders

This paper discusses the mutual benefits of community leadership development programs to both local governments and their communities. Learn about key components of leadership programs, example programs from throughout the state and potential partnership options.

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Broadening Public Participation Using Online Engagement Tools

This paper provides local officials with a guide to both choosing and using software specifically designed to enable consulting with the public online to enhance local decision-making.

Broadening Public Participation Using Online Engagement Tools

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The Safe and Responsible Drivers Act (AB 60)

This resource provides local officials with a description of AB 60, why this law matters to local officials and how local governments can support effective implementation and safer roads across the state.

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Providing Language Access
Tips for Local Officials

This resource outlines tips for local officials on providing language access in their communities.

Tips for Providing Language Access

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Building Healthy and Vibrant Communities:
Achieving Results through Community Engagement

This resource helps local officials inform their residents about what land use planning is, who is involved, why community engagement matters and ways to participate.

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Increasing Access to Public Meetings and Events for People with Disabilities

This tip sheet outlines general guidelines for increasing access to local government meetings and events for people with disabilities. It includes tips on effective communications, accommodations and timing and walker, cane, scooter and wheelchair access among other issues affecting community members with disabilities.

Increasing Access to Public Meetings and Events: For People with Disabilities

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Public Engagement Develops Briefing Papers for Youth Commissions

The Public Engagement program is creating a series of “Briefing Papers” for Youth Commissions and Youth Advisory Councils. These concise documents will provide teens with background information about a timely topic and concrete ideas for how youth commissions and advisory councils can take action to address these issues in their communities.

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Principles of Local Government Public Engagement

Ten 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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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.

Expand Your Agency's Community Connections

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Effective Public Engagement through Strategic Communication

Strategic communication is an essential tool for effective public engagement. 
This tip sheet offers advice on communication strategies before, during and after the agency’s public engagement effort. The Institute is deeply grateful to the Met Group and the James Irvine Foundation for making this piece available to local officials.

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Planning Public Engagement: Key Questions for Local Officials

Key questions for local officials to ask to increase the appropriateness and effectiveness of their public engagement efforts.

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Deeply Held Concerns and Other Challenges to Public Engagement Processes

This tip sheet offers ideas for the planning and delivery of public engagement activities when participants’ deeply held views and values make successful outcomes more of a challenge. Public engagement processes are often forums for very deeply held concerns. In some cases, public engagement participants will have very strongly held views about the topics to be discussed; the local (or regional) agency and officials involved; and/or the public engagement process itself. This resource provides tips for overcoming these challenges. 

Dealing with Deeply Held Concerns and Other Challenges to Public Engagement Processes

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Three Orientations of Local Government Public Engagement: Passive – Active – Sustaining

A tip sheet to help local officials and their communities consider strategies to develop and sustain a capacity for public engagement as a part of local governance.

Three Orientations of Local Government to Public Engagement

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Ten Ideas to Encourage Immigrant Engagement
A Tipsheet for Local Officials

A tip sheet that provides ideas drawn from cities and counties throughout California on ways to more successfully engage immigrant residents.

Ten Ideas to Encourage Immigrant Engagement

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Public Engagement Tip Sheets, Whitepapers and Reports

Shorter pieces, often relating to best practices, on specific public engagement topics and challenges.

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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.

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Local Agency Website Transparency Opportunities

This document provides checklists and guidance for posting information in categories such as Decision-Making, Finance and Human Resources, Permits and Zoning, Elected Officials, News and more. Click here to see the PDF and related articles featuring the City of Bell.

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Language Access Laws and Legal Issues: A Local Official’s Guide

The Language Access Guide explains the laws that require language access to insure that limited English-proficient residents have access to public services and an opportunity to participate in public life.

Language Access Laws and Legal Issues: A Local Official's Guide

The Language Access Checklists are a companion to the guide, which include: tips on providing language access; conducting a self-assessment; implementing an ordinance; implementing best practices with no ordinance and addressing common challenges. 

Language Access Checklists

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Working Effectively with Public Engagement Consultants: Tips for Local Officials

This tip sheet offers recommendations to help guide local officials in the best use of public engagement consultants.

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