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Public Engagement Case Stories

Case Story

City of Redding – Budget Advisory Committees Story

To help prepare Redding’s biennial budget, the city manager in this Northern California community asks residents to volunteer to serve on the city manager’s budget committee. The manager selects two community members with some experience in budgeting and knowledge of city government to participate in a series of department staff meetings and provide recommendations.

Case Story

City of El Cerrito – Budget Advisory Committees Story

El Cerrito, located in the east San Francisco Bay Area, uses a financial advisory board with five members of the public who work with one elected official liaison and one staff liaison. The process started with each governing body member appointing a resident to the advisory board for a period corresponding to their term.

Case Story

City of Santa Monica – Budget Surveys Story

This coastal community uses its website to gather public input on the city budget.

Case Story

City of San Luis Obispo – Budget Surveys Story

The City of San Luis Obispo worked with a consultant to conduct a representative sample survey that identified and ranked residents’ preferences for discretionary and non-discretionary services.

Case Story

City of San Jose – Budget Surveys Story

San Jose retained a professional polling company to survey a random, representative sample of residents about their perceptions of city services and funding priorities. The survey used a random-digit dial method and reached 450 people.

Case Story

City of Menlo Park – Budget Surveys Story

Menlo Park, located on the southern San Francisco Peninsula, worked with consultants to distribute a budget survey in multiple formats.

Case Story

City of Los Angeles – Budget Surveys Story

The City of Los Angeles conducts an annual budget survey as part of a larger public involvement process. Survey participation has increased each year, and the city received about 5,000 responses in 2008 from a combination of online and handwritten surveys.

Case Story

City of Richmond- Budget Education and Outreach Story

The City of Richmond produces a Budget-in-Brief Handout that provides an overview of the operating and capital improvement budgets, includes the city’s five core strategic goals, and highlights accomplishments related to those goals.

Case Story

Orange County – Budget Education and Outreach Story

The Orange County Transportation Authority developed a ledger sized, tri-fold brochure known informally as the “Popular Budget.” The purpose of the brochure is to communicate fiscal, organizational and programmatic information to the agency’s constituents.


Engaging Youth Case Stories

Learn about how California local agencies are successfully involving youth commissions and other young people in the civic and political life of their communities.

Case Story

City of Daly City – Budget Deliberative Forum Story

Similar to many municipalities in California, the Bay Area community of Daly City experienced declining revenues from sales and property taxes in 2009 as a result of the national and global economic downturn, as well as state “take-aways” of local tax revenues.

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