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Public Engagement Case Stories

Overview

Public Engagement Case Stories

Map Key: Cities – star shape; Counties – square shape
Purple – Broadening Participation; Orange – Difficult Situations in Public Engagement; Green – Planning, Housing and Sustainability; Blue – Budgeting; Aqua Blue – Health and Other Human Services; Red – Reentry, Emergency Preparedness and Public Safety; Brown – Public Works; Black – Online Public Engagement & Technology; Gray – Sustaining Public Engagement

View Institute Public Engagement Stories in a larger map.

Case Story

Digital Public Engagement: City of Salinas $500 Budget Challenge

In 2013 the City of Salinas faced a challenging fiscal situation familiar to many jurisdictions. They had to address a General Fund structural deficit of $5 million in FY 2014-15, which would grow to over $12.7 million by 2019-20. The strategic approach they took to allocating their limited resources was Priority Based Budgeting with a robust public engagement component.

Case Story

Engagement Leads to Greater Trust for Town of Paradise

In the fall of 2014 the Town of Paradise’s Town Council embarked on a public engagement effort to gauge resident preferences around four priority budget areas: fire suppression, police, road maintenance and animal control. 

Case Story

City of Monrovia – Budget Education and Outreach Story

In October 2012, the City of Monrovia, CA embarked on an ambitious effort to develop the city’s Strategic Plan. The goal of “Plan Monrovia” was to align City services with its budget and resources and guide the preparation of the 2013-2015 city budget and set the city’s course for next five years.

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Immigrant Citizenship Case Stories

Learn how California local governments are successfully participating in citizenship efforts and engaging new citizens in their communities.

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Immigrant Integration Case Stories

Learn how local governments and their communities are successfully integrating immigrants in the civic and public life of their communities.

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Immigrant Engagement Stories

Learn how local governments are successfully engaging immigrant communities.

Case Story

Brazilian Cities Recognized for Innovative Participatory Budgeting

Participatory Budgeting originated in 1990 in the city of Porto Alegre, Brazil, and has since been adapted for use in over 1000 cities worldwide. This national tradition is being carried on by the Brazilian cities of Belo Horizonte and Recife. 

Case Story

Calgary Launches Budget Engagement Process

The City of Calgary, in Alberta, Canada, has initiated a large-scale public engagement project: Our City. Our Budget. Our Future.

Case Story

City of Vallejo Launches Third Cycle of Participatory Budgeting

The City of Vallejo launched their third cycle of Participatory Budgeting (PB) in 2015, a process that gives residents and stakeholders the opportunity to develop and prioritize community-generated ideas for a portion of the city budget for city council consideration.

Case Story

City of Lodi – Budget Education and Outreach Story

Community:City of Lodi (San Joaquin County)
Population: 62,134

Summary

City Manager Rad Bartlam presented a chart at an educational meeting on city revenues showing how $1 of property tax is divided and giving the the ins and outs of the Lodi’s almost 600-page budget.

Case Story
City of Bell – Budget Deliberative Forum Story

City of Bell – Budget Deliberative Forum Story

On Saturday, January 21st, 2012 the City of Bell convened a historic bi-lingual Community Forum that brought more than forty residents together to deliberate and to offer guidance to local officials on goals and budget priorities for the 2012-13 fiscal year.  This process is one of several initiatives of the new Bell City Council to restore transparent, community-focused government to Bell.  

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Engaging Clergy and Congregations Case Stories

Learn how cities and counties are working effectively with local clergy and congregations in California.

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Developing Resident Leadership Case Stories

The following stories describe successful efforts by California cities and counties to inform residents about local government and civics, develop community leadership, and create effective citizen academies.

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Planning, Housing and Sustainability – California Stories

Learn how communities in California are successfully involving residents to address local planning, housing, and sustainability-related issues.

Case Story

City of Ventura – Budget Advisory Committees Story

In February 2009, the Ventura City Council created a Citizen Blue Ribbon Budget Committee, a fifteen person working group to dialogue with the community regarding the submission of a revenue measure to the voters.

Case Story

City of San Jose – Working with Existing Neighborhood Councils and Committees Story

The San Jose Strong Neighborhoods Initiative, a network of neighborhood advisory committees, was organized to strengthen community participation in redevelopment areas. The committees developed visions for their neighborhoods and identified priorities for redevelopment spending.

Case Story

City of Menlo Park – Budget Deliberative Forum Story

In 2005, this south San Francisco Bay Area community faced a fourth consecutive year of budget cuts due to a 50 percent decline in sales tax revenue and an overall economic slump. Though the agency had conducted budget-related surveys in the past, these did not reveal public preferences related to real trade-offs and difficult choices.

Case Story

County of Fresno – Budget Workshop Story

In this southern Central Valley community, a county supervisor organized a series of public workshops to involve the community in a thorny budget battle. The conversations unfolded against the backdrop of a campaign that pitted public safety against social services as a budget priority.

Case Story

City of Cupertino – Budget Workshop Story

A board game metaphor helped Cupertino engage residents in budget discussions. The “Balance or Bust” game was presented at the agency’s annual “community congress,” which has used different formats depending on current issues and leadership styles.

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