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Describes research on the relationship between dialogues and decision-making, and how people can be made part of a participatory budgeting process.

Describes research on the relationship between dialogues and decision-making, and how people can be made part of a participatory budgeting process.

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Dialogue and Decision Making Dialogue and Decision Making Document Transcript

  • Dialogue and Decision 1 GOLDEN GATE UNIVERSITY Dialogue and decision-making:Understanding dialogue and factors measurably influencing City decision-making processes By Colin G. Gallagher, RPCV EMPA 396 – Cohort No. 5 September 2, 2009 Instructor: Dr. Mick McGee
  • Dialogue and Decision 2 Table of ContentsAbstract ...........................................................................................................................................3Introduction ....................................................................................................................................3 Definitions.....................................................................................................................................4 Hypothesis, Variables, Sub-Hypotheses, and Delimitation of the Study .....................................7 Assumptions of the Researcher .....................................................................................................8 Potential for Resultant Actions .....................................................................................................9Literature Review ..........................................................................................................................9 Dialogue and Decision-Making ....................................................................................................9 Social Capital as a Resource: Community Well-Being and Development .................................10 Resource Utilization and Network Development: Precursors to Dialogue Opportunity ............11Methodology .................................................................................................................................14 Data Collection ...........................................................................................................................14 Anticipated Issues .......................................................................................................................16 Areas of Measurement for Internal and External Utilization......................................................17Results and Findings ....................................................................................................................18 Results of Data Analysis .............................................................................................................18 Findings.......................................................................................................................................25Conclusions and Policy Recommendations ...............................................................................27 Conclusions .................................................................................................................................27 Evaluation ...................................................................................................................................27 Policy Recommendation I: Conduct Dialogues Regularly with Enhanced Facilitation ............27 Policy Recommendation II: Establish Presentation Opportunity for Participants .....................28 Policy Recommendation III: Enhance and Redirect Participation to Civic Centers .................29Areas for Further Research ........................................................................................................30References .....................................................................................................................................31Appendices ....................................................................................................................................36 Appendix A (Dialogue Worksheet Questions Utilized by Dialogue Participants) .....................36
  • Dialogue and Decision 3 Abstract Dialogue opportunities can be utilized as a specialized form of civic engagement, and inthis context dialogue is distinct from decision-making. Organizations that implement a programof dialogue opportunities can utilize dialogues to influence decision-making. This studydescribes the City of Salinas experience in 2009 with dialogue opportunities, and presentsresearch on whether the 2009 dialogues influenced decision-making processes at the CityCouncil level in a measurable way. The research analyzes data which aids in the understandingof whether such dialogues utilized in similar circumstances would influence decision-making,and reveals determining factors. A set of recommendations is added to make this researchaccessible to leaders in any organization facing challenges of developing productive dialoguewhile keeping organizational activities efficient. Introduction As is the case with many local governments across the country, the City of Salinasexperienced a reduction in revenue through 2008 which resulted in plans being developed bymanagement and elected officials to significantly alter previous budgetary plans. As part of thisprocess, the City Council authorized the submittal of a grant concept to Common SenseCalifornia, a nonprofit organization which provides grants for civic engagement purposes tolocal governments. The grant concept was co-authored by the researcher (in the researcher‟scapacity as an employee of the City) and a Deputy City Manager of the City of Salinas. Thegrant concept submitted to Common Sense California was intended to result in funding of fourindependently facilitated dialogues on the theme of service levels and choices, with theinformational results of City residents‟ participation in the dialogues intended to be documented,summarized, and delivered to the City Council prior to its action in the budget hearings for the
  • Dialogue and Decision 4Fiscal Year 2009-2010. The City was successful in obtaining the grant, and the dialogues wereimplemented on February 26th, 2009, March 16th, 2009, April 1st, 2009, and April 23rd, 2009. Each of the four dialogues was independently facilitated by Viewpoint Learning, Inc.,and the researcher aided in reservation of facilities, advertisement, food preparation, and othersimilar administrative tasks for the dialogues. For one of the dialogues, at the request ofmanagement, the researcher served as a bilingual English-Spanish translator. The question thatevolved from the researcher‟s observations of and reflections upon the dialogue processes waswhether these dialogues, and the informational result, had any impact or influence on the CityCouncil decision-making process for the adoption of a budget for fiscal year 2009-2010. Afterthe conclusion of the dialogues, the researcher made a final decision and commitment to examinethis question further through research which would involve data analysis, and to establish ahypothesis for the final graduate (capstone) course for the Golden Gate University ExecutiveMaster of Public Administration program that would address the dialogue question. Development of an understanding of dialogue opportunities should begin with a clearunderstanding of some of the basic definitions that have been used by organizations that haveprogrammed civic engagement activities into their work plans. Many organizations have foundas a routine part of their operations that a carefully programmed set of public outreach activitiesis necessary to help further the goals of the organization. At the same time, many organizationalmembers are taking part in activities consistent with the Wojcicki (2001) definition of “civicengagement” (p. 10) which is best defined as the “process of people‟s involvement” (E.Wojcicki, personal communication, August 14, 2008) in “the specific organized and informalactivities through which individuals get drawn into community and political affairs” (Wojcicki,
  • Dialogue and Decision 52001, p. 10). This definition has been provided by Ed Wojcicki, currently Associate Chancellorfor Constituent Relations at the University of Illinois at Springfield. In personal discussions during the first half of 2009, the researcher, along with a group ofestablished civic engagement practitioners, discussed the meaning of civic engagement in theUnited States today through an online message board established by the researcher usingLinkedIn. Access to and moderation of the message board, titled „Civic Engagement andDialogue Practitioners,‟ was provided by the researcher. These discussions helped the researchergain insight into how various practitioners‟ perspectives on civic engagement have evolved. A specialized kind of civic engagement emerges when „dialogue‟ opportunities arepresented. For the purposes of this study, „dialogue‟ shall be understood to be defined as per theViewPoint Learning (2009a) definition of "a special kind of discourse employing distinctiveskills to achieve mutual understanding and mutual trust and respect" (ViewPoint Learning, Inc.,2009a) which is guided by "ground rules of dialogue" (ViewPoint Learning, Inc., 2009b). Whenpeople participate in such a dialogue, they can become part of a „collaborative network.‟ Thedefinition of „collaborative networks‟ used for this paper is consistent with a portion of the Gloor(2006) definition of collaborative innovation networks: The individuals in COINs are highly motivated, working together toward a common goal – not because of orders from their superiors (although they may be brought together in that way), but because they share the same goal and are convinced of their common cause (…) usually assembl(ing) around a new idea outside of organizational boundaries and across conventional hierarchies. (Gloor, 2006, p. 11) For the purposes of this study, in „collaborative networks,‟ one can observe a cooperationwhich does not require the direct orders (nor direct and indirect permissions) which are
  • Dialogue and Decision 6characteristic of the activities of an organization‟s formal hierarchy. This cooperationnonetheless can continue to advance organizational interests through the increase of “civicengagement” (Wojcicki, 2001, p. 10) in circumstances resulting from the participants‟ work on aconcept or issue for which Katz and Kahn‟s (2005)“feedback” (p. 485) is needed at some levelby an organization. In certain cases, the activities of such a collaborative network will influencedecision-making processes – however, whether the extent and level of influence is measurablewill depend on a variety of factors, including the proximity of the network‟s activity in time tothe decision-making processes which are closely tied to the concerns of members of the network. The term „decision-making processes‟ shall here be defined as those processes by whichappointed or elected officials make decisions by voting in a public hearing setting, including thataspect of the processes which involves the determination by the officials of what factors thoseofficials will use to evaluate information associated with the decision as the point of votingapproaches. Decision-making processes involve months or years of time prior to a decision. For the purposes of this study, "the ground rules of dialogue" shall be understood to bedefined as they are described according to ViewPoint Learning (2009b): 1. The purpose of dialogue is to understand and learn from one another. (You cannot "win" a dialogue.) 2. All dialogue participants speak for themselves, not as representatives of groups or special interests. 3. Treat everyone in a dialogue as an equal: leave role, status and stereotypes at the door. 4. Be open and listen to others even when you disagree, and suspend judgment. (Try not to rush to judgment). 5. Search for assumptions (especially your own).
  • Dialogue and Decision 7 6. Listen with empathy to the views of others: acknowledge you have heard the other especially when you disagree. 7. Look for common ground. 8. Express disagreement in terms of ideas, not personality or motives. 9. Keep dialogue and decision-making as separate activities. (Dialogue should always come before decision-making.) 10. All points of view deserve respect and all will be recorded (without attribution). (ViewPoint Learning, Inc., 2009b) I. HYPOTHESIS AND VARIABLES The research described in this paper begins with the hypothesis: Engagement opportunities provided through dialogues on service levels can influencedecision-making processes in a measurable way. The dependent variable is: Influence decision-making processes. The independent variable is: Engagement opportunities provided through dialogues. II. SUB-HYPOTHESES a. Dialogues influence decision-making. b. Dialogues bring the general public more proximate to the decision-making itself. c. Dialogues increase civic engagement. d. Dialogues, as implemented in the City of Salinas, have revealed measurable differences from prior years‟ decision-making patterns in response to public input. In order to develop conclusions and recommendations within the timeframe establishedfor the research project and capstone course, the study was delimited in a specific way. Theprimary data from dialogues come from the City of Salinas, and include data that resulted
  • Dialogue and Decision 8directly from the dialogues implemented in February through April of 2009 in the City ofSalinas, with secondary data coming from other comparable sources utilized in the narrative ofthe research. The amount of available data focused the research upon analysis of informationprovided by persons participating in the dialogues in 2009, as well as background informationfrom persons who participated in other ways outside of the 2009 dialogues. This backgroundinformation included a review of public record data available from the City of Salinas whichdated back to 1999. The research is limited to an analysis of data available from the City ofSalinas from 1999 through June 30, 2009, as well as narrative information from other cities. Assumptions of the researcher relevant to this study are as follows: There is a reasonable expectation that an increasing number of members of the general public in the United States today have been, or will become interested in matters involving governmental expenditure. Members of the general public want to be able to influence how the government allocates money. Members of the general public believe that their thoughts and opinions should be held in higher value by elected, appointed, and employed governmental agents, and would take advantage of additional opportunities to influence or change what is done with money allocated by government. A system of a constitutional and democratic republic in the United States can be maintained and enhanced through the practice of civic engagement, where governmental agents and a growing number of members of the general public increase the frequency, civility, and collaboration inherent in their interactions. These assumptions will be re-examined in the context of this dialogue research.
  • Dialogue and Decision 9 The potential for action directly resulting from this research is significant. This is due to astrong increase in the number of local government jurisdictions in California performingparticipatory budgeting projects in recent years, along with an increase in consultation with, andengagement of, members of the general public by a variety of local government jurisdictions.Additionally, the federal government has recently increased its emphasis on engagement. Finally,the findings from this research indicate that the public interest in dialogues can be transformedinto a useful tool for local government policy and budget development, if some modifications aremade to existing dialogue processes used by local governments. These modifications arenecessary to develop appropriate measures of influence on decision-making processes. Literature Review I. Works on Dialogue and Decision-Making Early writings on the dialogue and decision-making did not have the benefit of primarydata coming directly from dialogues developed as a part of a local government effort; however,various existing works did lay the groundwork for development of an understanding of howdialogue might be utilized as a precursor to decision-making processes. As an example, DialogueProcesses for Generating Decision Alternatives by Bergner (2006) not only described thedifferences between dialogue and decision-making, but set out to “develop principled dialoguefacilitation methods (…) especially in cases where the decision-maker desires a comprehensivesearch of possible actions and outcomes” (pp. 1-2), worked to “establish a foundation for futuretheoretical and empirical research on dialogue processes in decision analysis” (p. 1), andintroduced a “decision-dialogue model” (p. 61) to explain the “relationship of dialogue processesto the quality of decisions” (p. 11).
  • Dialogue and Decision 10 More recently, the Engagement Streams and Process Distinctions Framework by theNational Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation (2009) was refined to add new processes usedin the field of dialogue, and to indicate which processes are used in the specific categories ofengagement known as: Exploration, Conflict Transformation, Decision-Making, (and) Collaborative Action. (National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation, 2009) II. Social Capital as a Resource: Community Well-Being and Development The notion that dialogue may somehow be utilized as a type of engagement betweendecision-makers and the public in a manner which influences representative government has itsroots in early American history. In a seminal work, The Community Center, Hanifan (1920)provided ideas for how this process might begin. Hanifan (1920), then State Supervisor of RuralSchools in West Virginia, defined “Social Capital” (p. 78) as that in life which tends to make (…) tangible substances count for most in the daily lives of people; namely, good will, fellowship, sympathy, and social intercourse among the individuals and families who make up a social unit, -- the rural community, whose logical center in most cases is the school. (p. 78) In Hanifan‟s (1920) work, the concept was tied to the economy directly: First, then, there must be an accumulation of community social capital. Such accumulation may be effected by means of public entertainments, picnics, and a variety of other community gatherings. When the people of a given community have become acquainted with one another and have formed a habit of coming together occasionally for
  • Dialogue and Decision 11 entertainment, social intercourse, and personal enjoyment, then by skillful leadership this social capital may easily be directed towards the general improvement of the community well-being. (p. 79) Gittell and Vidal (1998), in Community Organizing: Building Social Capital as aDevelopment Strategy, provided the first modern examples of how community can be built fromthe ground up with their work on a “social capital perspective on community developmentpractice” (p. 33). In Bowling Alone: The collapse and revival of American community, Putnam(2000) defined “social capital” (p. 19) as “connections among individuals – social networks andthe norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them” (p. 19), and provided a fulldescription of the idea of “bridging (or inclusive)” (pp. 22-23) social capital in the context of“networks” (p. 22), while crediting Gittell and Vidal with “coining the labels” (p. 446) of“bridging” and “bonding” (pp. 22-23) forms of “social capital” (p. 19). According to Wojcicki(2001), social capital is “the resource, or collective power, emanating from connections amongindividuals, from social networks, and from social trust, norms, and the threat of sanctions, thatpeople can draw upon to solve common problems.” (p. 10) Wojcicki (2001) briefly andcomprehensively covers the subject of concept of social capital, its modern history, and how itmay be most precisely defined by viewing it as a resource. III. Resource Utilization and Network Development: Precursors to Dialogue Opportunity In Structural Holes: The Social Structure of Competition, Burt (1992) stated that “(t)hetask for a strategic player building an efficient-effective network is to focus resources on themaintenance of bridge ties.” (p. 30)
  • Dialogue and Decision 12 Burt described a critical rule to network organization design: “The first design principleof an optimized network concerns efficiency: Maximize the number of nonredundant contacts inthe network to maximize the yield in structural holes per contact” (Burt, 1992, p. 20) The implication from this reference to an “optimized network” (Burt, 1992, p. 20) is thatthere is a critical value in the sort of connections made when individuals who do not normallyinteract develop a connection with one another. Burt‟s “structural hole is a relationship ofnonredundancy between two contacts” (Burt, 1992, p. 18). Thus, where bridging can occurbetween one person in a „collaborative network‟ and another person not already associated withthe network, one or more of the following several opportunities arise: the possibility ofexpansion of the network, a development of an awareness of the organization(s) associated withthe „collaborative network‟ on the part of the person making contact with the „collaborativenetwork‟ member (a potential result of “civic engagement” (Wojcicki, 2001, p. 10)), andawareness of the possibility for idea exchange and economic opportunity on the part of the„collaborative network‟ member and on the part of the person who has made contact with thenetwork through a member. It is these bridging activities which form the class of interactionsmost critical to creating an environment favorable for economic growth while fostering dialogue. Some skill and discretion is necessary for maintenance of this bridging activity, for asBurt (2000) has also pointed out, “brokerage across structural holes is the source of value added,but closure can be critical to realizing the value buried in structural holes” (p. 1). This statementis based in part on Burt‟s (2000) observations resulting from network analyses of five studies ofmanagers utilizing questions about trust, socialization, reporting (hierarchical) relationships, andothers (Burt, Structural Holes versus Network Closure as Social Capital, 2000).
  • Dialogue and Decision 13 Part of the reason why these bridging activities can be utilized for economic purposes hasbeen commented on by Grandori and Soda (1995), who defined “(a)n inter-firm network (as)(…) a mode of regulating interdependence between firms which is different from the aggregationof these units within a single firm and from coordination through market signals (prices, strategicmoves, tacit collusion, etc.) and which is based on a cooperative game with partner-specificcommunication.” (Grandori & Soda, Inter-firm networks: antecedents, mechanisms and forms,1995). Later, Grandori (1997) provided further detail on this concept in the context of “socialnetworks” (p. 910) in a work on inter-firm coordination, in which it was reasoned that as long as the interests of interdependent firms are convergent in selecting a set of actions preferred by everybody, and as long as the number and combinations of players and / or matters (…) is small, whatever the types of mechanisms employed for coordination, they will not have to be formalized into external and internal contracts in order to achieve effective and efficient coordination. The reason for this claim is that the establishment of formal contracts entails a variety of transaction costs, including set up and administration costs; search, decision, and negotiation costs; and possibly costs of loss of cooperative atmosphere. (…) Transactional interdependence can also be managed informally, as long as the game is seen as cooperative. (pp. 910-911)The “inter-firm coordination” (Grandori, 1997, p. 897) thus need not take place only within thecontext of formalized hierarchies. Citizen working groups, ad-hoc meetings, conversations, anddialogue opportunities in a variety of formats held over the short-term for a specific purpose, orover the long-term for an evolving or broader purpose, can and do present economic benefits toorganizations that utilize them. Evidence of increasing social capital and development ofnetworks such as those referred to above are factors that will make more likely the increase of
  • Dialogue and Decision 14civic engagement activities that may influence decision-making, including (but not limited to)dialogue opportunities. While highly developed social capital and strong collaborative networksare valuable precursors to dialogue opportunities, they are not preconditions for dialogues. Specific modern sources which have been referred to in the process of studying potentialeconomic benefits of bridging social capital are Social Capital: Measurement and Consequencesby Putnam (2000), Two Concepts of Social Capital: Bordieau vs. Putnam by Siisiäinen (2000,July 5-8), A major difference in definitions: Social capital, civic engagement, and civil life byWojcicki (2001), Bridging and Bonding Social Capital: Which type is good for economicgrowth? by Beugelsdijk & Smulders (2003), and A Multilevel Model of Group Social Capital byOh, Labianca, and Chung (2006). Methodology I. Data Collection Baseline data was derived from a period of approximately ten years of decision-makingprior to the implementation of the dialogues. Proposed and approved City of Salinas budgets andminutes of meetings were reviewed for the ten-year period to determine whether existingmechanisms in place that were provided for the public to interact with decision makers mighthave influenced the decision-making process for the budgets passed during the baseline period.Budgetary data, City Council minutes, Finance Committee minutes, and Measure V Committeeminutes were obtained for all instances in which meetings occurred for the period of 1999through 2009. Dialogue data was obtained from the City of Salinas in the form of worksheetswhich participants completed for the dialogues. Data exists for such dialogues from the City ofSalinas only for the year of 2009, as this was the first instance of dialogue utilization by the City.Interviews were conducted with all City of Salinas Council members after the June 30, 2009 to
  • Dialogue and Decision 15determine key factors in their decision-making. A qualitative analysis was conducted based onavailable data. Most data was obtained through California Public Records Act requests deliveredto the City of Salinas by e-mail, with standard language in the requests asking for electronicrecords in lieu of hard copy wherever possible. It is important to note that during this datacollection process, while the budgetary data required was disclosed quickly, not all of the budgetdata was electronically available, as only those budgetary reports and presentations from 2003forward were available online, and request for electronic copy for budgetary reports from earlieryears did not yield direct access. To obtain access to earlier years of data, the researcher foundthat it was necessary to schedule office visit hours at the City of Salinas to review and determinewhat budgetary reports and pages would need to be copied in order to obtain basic budgetaryinformation that would indicate levels of recommended and adopted expenditures on adepartmental basis, so that these could be reviewed in the context of any records whichdocumented public comment during or prior to the corresponding meeting or hearing when thedecision(s) were made. In contrast, the minutes of all meetings from 1998 forward were availableelectronically, which revealed that while a detailed accounting and record of what transpired inthe meetings was available, the budgetary information itself was not directly availableelectronically. This observation is led to the formulation of part of the policy recommendationswhich have resulted from this research process. The period from March of 2007 through February of 2009 was classified as a„preliminary civic engagement period‟ for the purposes of evaluating budget hearing data forfiscal decisions made during that time, since the City had a formal civic engagement program inplace beginning in March of 2007 which included Council District meetings with Councilmembers, Mayoral Town Halls, Community or Neighborhood Cleanups, and large-scale events
  • Dialogue and Decision 16known as Resource Fairs involving substantial multi-agency and nonprofit collaboration andheightened public involvement. This period could be characterized as a time of significantlyincreased engagement activity programmed by the City, with significant participation byresidents, from March of 2007 up to the start date of the first of four dialogues. The period oftime from February through April of 2009, when the grant-funded dialogues were implemented,may be referred to as the „dialogue period.‟ Secondary data which were referred to during the research include participatorybudgeting dialogue data in narrative format from Common Sense California (the grantororganization for the City of Salinas 2009 dialogues on service levels and choices), including anextended interview with the Executive Director of Common Sense California which was usefulto the researcher in gaining perspective on other dialogue projects in California. These data wereutilized by the researcher as background information.Elected officials who cast the deciding votes for the Fiscal Year 2009-2010 budget hearing ofJune 30, 2009 for the City of Salinas were interviewed, and the interview results and dialogueinformation from worksheets submitted by the public were analyzed along with the actual resultof the decision-making (the adopted Fiscal Year 2009-2010 City of Salinas budget). The CityCouncil members were not asked to participate in interviews until after the Fiscal Year budgethearing for 2009-2010 was complete. The population sample, for the purposes of this research, isall 2009 dialogue participants who submitted worksheets to the City of Salinas as part of thedialogue process. The researcher procured these worksheets after the dialogues were completethrough the California Public Records Act request process. Some issues were anticipated prior to this research, including the possibility that Councilmembers might be unavailable for comment on the interview questions, and that difficulties in
  • Dialogue and Decision 17resolution of what staff should do about revenue shortfalls would make data collection andresearch on the subject more sensitive and difficult to complete. Other issues anticipated wereconcerns regarding the impending adoption of a budget balancing plan for Fiscal Year 2010-2011 which proposed significant alterations to the budget allocations represented by the adoptedFiscal Year 2009-2010 budget. Since the period under study ends with the June 30, 2009 Councilaction on the Fiscal Year 2009-2010 budget, the budget balancing plan for Fiscal Year 2010-2011 is not considered within the context of this study. The researcher observed possible areas of measurement. These following possiblequantitative measurements were evaluated as a possibility for internal and external utilization:- Determination of the number of decision-makers directly involved in endorsing or approving adialogue grant concept- Determination of the number of decision-makers directly involved in observing each of the fourdialogue opportunities in 2009 funded by Common Sense California- Determination of the number of instances in which particular participants are directlyconnected to a policy-making action.- Determination of the number of participants involved at a dialogue, and number of participantsin subgroups within each dialogue.- Determination of the total number of participants involved in dialogues where the informationaloutcome of the dialogues is directly connected to a decision.- Determination of the number of policy-making decisions which are influenced or potentiallymay be influenced by the dialogues. (This determination would require a system of measurementof influence levels, as there must be a threshold level below which it would be understood –based on the values inherent in the measurement -- that a decision is effectively not influenced.)
  • Dialogue and Decision 18 Results and Findings The results of the analysis are presented below in summary format. There were fourdialogues, and the number of participants at each varied, as did the results of the preferencesindicated by the dialogue participants. However, across the board, some patterns became evidentwhich persisted in each dialogue despite differences in group sizes and demographics from onedialogue date to the next. At each dialogue session, the choice labeled as „Enhance Salinas as aCommunity‟ (Choice 3) was supported by the highest percentage of participants, and at eachdialogue session, the service area for which cuts would be most acceptable to the participantswas administration. A key budgetary report in the context of the dialogues was a ViewPoint Learningsummary report which was presented to the City Council on June 16, 2009, two weeks prior tothe City Council decision by vote on the budget on June 30, 2009 for the staff recommendationon the Fiscal Year 2009-2010 budget. In this budgetary report, which was provided to the CityCouncil as a presentation without an accompanying staff report, it was reported that forty-eightpercent of the participants supported Choice 3 (Enhance Salinas as a Community), that thirty-twopercent supported Choice 2 (Preserve the Current Level of Services in Salinas), and ten percentsupported Choice 1 (Minimal Government Services at Minimal Cost). The researcher determinedthat the primary data provide different percentages than those provided in the ViewPointLearning summary report, as shown in the following figure that cumulatively illustrates theselection provided by each participant that completed the „Final Judgment‟ portion of theworksheet provided during the dialogues. In the view of the researcher, the reason for thisdifference is because the information gathered from the dialogues (completed dialogueworksheets) was provided by City management to City temporary or part-time staff for
  • Dialogue and Decision 19tabulation prior to the production of the report by ViewPoint Learning, which is likely to havecaused errors in the process of information transfer, data tabulation, and presentation. Thefollowing figure (Figure One) is based on the researcher‟s own tabulation of primary dataavailable (completed dialogue worksheets obtained via a public records request). Figure OneAfter the dialogues were completed, and after the Salinas City Council‟s June 30, 2009 action toadopt the recommended budget for Fiscal Year 2009-2010 (with less available revenue, but withCouncil direction to staff to avoid layoffs in Fiscal Year 2009-2010), it became evident that theState takeaways from local government would be even more than originally anticipated. In thecontext of the dialogues, the worksheets completed by the participants include, in part, suggestedareas for cuts. These suggestions are the participants‟ responses which the researcher has focusedon, due to revenue declines that the City experienced over the period of time in the monthsleading up to the Salinas City Council June 30, 2009 budget vote. Figure Two cumulativelydescribes the most acceptable cuts to participants who completed the worksheet section thatasked, "If it became necessary to make cuts, in what area would a cut be most acceptable to you?
  • Dialogue and Decision 20(CHOOSE ONE).” The researcher observed that a few participants chose more than one. Theresearcher tabulated the data by dividing a single vote amongst each participant‟s choices made. Figure Two Actual changes were evaluated in corresponding service areas, as shown in Figure Three. Figure Three
  • Dialogue and Decision 21 Direct comparisons between dialogue results for service areas and subsequentpercentages of change in funding for service areas are not recommended. It would not be correctto directly compare or correlate areas desired to be cut or enhanced by the participants to budgetpercentages. Additionally, it was not possible with the data available to determine thepreferences of the participants (individually or collectively) on what percent or level each servicearea should be cut or raised to, although it was possible to determine the service areas whichwere most preferred by the participants for a possible cut or enhancement. Some of the data reflected in Figure Three does not reflect eventual cuts which areanticipated to result, but are not known with certainty at the time of submittal of this researchwork. For example, the Recreation/Park category in Figure Three shows a nearly 29 percentincrease in funding from Fiscal Year 2008-2009 to Fiscal Year 2009-2010, but this number maybe misleading, since a 54 percent cut in the Recreation/Park category is anticipated for FiscalYear 2010-2011 in the City‟s budget balancing plan, with some of those cuts potentiallybeginning in the middle of the Fiscal Year 2009-2010. Changes in the City of Salinas revenuesituation which might alter these figures could not be known at the time of submittal of thisresearch work. However, it is clear that cuts to Administration, Library, andEnvironmental/Maintenance categories were made as part of the budget decision-making processfor the Fiscal Year 2009-2010 budget, for which the vote was made on June 30, 2009. While each participant could express a preference for the best ways of cutting and raisingrevenue, only those who selected Choice 3, “Enhance Salinas as a Community,” were asked, “Ifthe City budget is increased, how should the additional monies be spent?” The participantselections on enhancement are not examined in detail here, since for the purposes of this study,the need to analyze whether the dialogues influenced decision-making, and the substantial
  • Dialogue and Decision 22decline in revenue experienced by the City during the Fiscal Year 2008-2009, concentrated theresearcher‟s analysis of available dialogue data on the participants‟ preferences for what servicearea cuts would be most acceptable. This portion of participants‟ preference represents responsesprovided by all the participants, not only those who had indicated a preference for enhancement. Finally, the Salinas City Council interview results were examined, with the past ten yearsof budgetary reports, Measure V Committee minutes, and Finance Committee minutes serving asbackground information for review of how the public has interacted with the City‟s decision-making process and budgetary review in the past. There are seven Council members, whichincludes one Council member per Council District and a Mayor, a Council member who coversthe City. Each Council member has one vote to exercise during culmination of a decision. The Council member interview process was initiated by an e-mail request to all Councilmembers that contained the following standard request language from the researcher: This e-mail is to request a time for a phone interview with you that would occur at some point in the next week to week and a half. This interview is needed to help me complete masters research for my final capstone presentation for a masters program, and will take about five to ten minutes. The questions are oriented around decision-making and how it occurs. Please contact me at (personal phone number) to let me know when a good time for this interview would be. The Council members were also informed that the results of the interviews would beutilized for this research work without attribution. They provided the following answers inresponse to the specific questions outlined below, with key words summarized by the researcherfrom longer responses. The researcher documented the entire response of each Council memberword for word, then categorized the responses by dividing each response into four distinct parts,
  • Dialogue and Decision 23before comparing the Council members‟ responses to each other for each question in a process ofobservation and determination of key words which were repeated by various Council memberswithout knowledge of what other Council members had said in response. The Council memberswere not limited in how they could respond (questions were open-ended, not multiple-choice),with the exception of one question requiring a yes or no response. 1. What factors (during the months of January through June of 2009) influenced your decision-making with respect to your decision-making process on your June 30, 2009 action on the recently adopted (FY 09/10) budget? a. Finance Committee / Finance Director (3 of 7 Council members) b. Employees / Employee Groups (2 of 7 Council members) c. Projections (2 of 7 Council members) 2. Of the presentations that you received while in Council sessions (from January through June of 2009) prior to the June 30, 2009 vote, which presentations had the most impact and influence on you and your process of evaluation of the budget information presented to you prior to the June 30, 2009 budget voting date (regarding the FY 09/10 budget)? (Note: These could be presentations by staff, consultants, or anyone who made a presentation to you while you were in Council session from January through June of 2009.) a. Employee group presentations (3 of 7 Council members) b. Employees speaking about personal impacts to them (3 of 7 Council members) c. Finance Committee / Finance Director (3 of 7 Council members)
  • Dialogue and Decision 243. From January 2009 through June 30, 2009, did you seek out or request information (as you evaluated information relating to the budget) apart from the various presentations you received in Council sessions? (Note: The answer for this question is yes / no.) a. Yes (7 of 7 Council members answered yes). 3a. If you did seek out or request information relating to the budget from January through June 30, 2009: What information did you seek out or request, and how long did it take you to obtain it? (If you sought out information on various dates or requested information on various dates, please summarize briefly.) a. Budget projection / Budget information (3 of 7 Council members) b. Impacts to employees and members of the general public (4 of 7 Councilmembers)4. Of the factors that influenced your decision-making (beginning with those factors you considered during or after January 2009) before the budget vote on June 30, 2009, which would you say was the most influential? (This may be one or more factors, please name all that seem relevant to this question and identify which was most influential to you.) a. Employees / Employees‟ stories (2 of 7 Council members) b. People who will be impacted – employees and residents (4 of 7 Council members) c. Revenue and Expenses / Projections (3 of 7 Council members)5. In the days or weeks which passed just before the June 30, 2009 vote, was there any factor or series of factors which altered or changed your thinking about any part of the budget? a. No (4 of 7 Council members answered no). b. Yes (3 of 7 Council members answered yes).
  • Dialogue and Decision 25 i. Two of the three Council members who answered yes refer to budgetary information from the State, the stimulus, and / or the Finance Director. 6. During the vote on June 30, 2009, what factors were most prominent in your mind which contributed to your voting decision that evening? (Here, consider only those factors which arose in your mind during the hours of the Council session on June 30, 2009.) a. Budget reports (4 of 7 Council members referred to the budget report itself) b. Layoffs versus No Layoffs (1 of 7 Council members referred to an agreement reached by Council on the evening of June 30, 2009 to take a direction of no layoffs and utilize furloughs) The results of these interviews show clearly that the Council members consideredpersonal communications provided to them in a public venue to be a strong influence upon theirdecision-making with respect to the budget. Key findings of the research are described below: 1. The decision-makers (Council members) who voted on the budget, when interviewed, did not cite the dialogues as factors in their decision-making process, although the dialogues were supported by all Council members and were directly observed by some Council members while the dialogues were being conducted. 2. Council members did cite people‟s stories, testimony, or comments when mentioning factors that most influenced their decision-making processes. 3. Many Council members also directly cited financial concerns as a factor and cited the Financial Committee or Finance Director‟s financial reports as influential.
  • Dialogue and Decision 264. The City Council meetings in the City Rotunda have provided a public space where public remarks and testimony regarding issues of interest are regularly voiced, with periodic increases in public comment on fiscal issues over the ten year baseline period.5. Engagement opportunities through dialogues have influenced budgetary processes in Salinas, but not through a means which is effective enough to measure easily.6. Measurement of engagement opportunities through dialogues could be accomplished by enhancing the use of existing facilities which have historically been well-utilized by the public for communicating with the City Council.7. The Finance Committee is not designed to facilitate public comment, and engagement in that venue, based on the minutes, has diminished over the ten year baseline period.8. The results of the dialogues have been presented by consultants and staff to Council, but not by residents of Salinas to the Salinas City Council.9. The provision of dialogues has increased the number of participants involved in civic engagement activities in the City with methods not previously utilized.Based on these findings, assumptions of the researcher were re-examined. The sense of theresearcher that a system of a constitutional and democratic republic in the United States canbe maintained and enhanced through the practice of civic engagement, where governmentalagents and a growing number of members of the public work to increase the frequency,civility, and collaboration inherent in their collective interactions, holds true only if civicengagement techniques are altered to connect the results of civic engagement directly todecision-making processes. In the opinion of the researcher, people will only continue to takeadvantage of additional opportunities to influence or change what is done with moneyallocated by government so long as they can clearly see that their participation is valued.
  • Dialogue and Decision 27 Conclusions and Policy Recommendations The research reveals that dialogue does influence decision-making, although it was not citedas a factor in decision-making by the Council members surveyed. The alternative – that dialoguedoes not influence decision-making – is not supported by the data, given the clear interest thatdecision-makers expressed in obtaining budgetary information on their own, the emphasisdecision-makers placed upon personal stories as key factors in their decision-making process,and the high level of interest in future dialogues shown by the participants based on indicationscollected from the dialogue worksheets. The dialogue process did influence decision-making, butlacked a direct connection to the physical location where the decision-making customarilyoccurred. Such a connection, established far enough in advance of the decision date itself, couldhave made the influence the dialogues had on decision-making processes quantitatively andqualitatively measurable. The dialogue processes should be modified to increase involvement ofcitizens in processes more proximately connected to decision-making actions that localgovernments use to establish budgets and allocate revenue. Evaluation of the research process, in the view of the researcher, reveals the following:while the implications for the research are significant, the extent to which the research can bemeaningfully employed is limited until further research is conducted that would focus onmeasurement in the context of dialogue and decision-making processes. Below are three key policy recommendations with detailed recommendations resulting fromthis research, which will aid local governments, members of the general public, and researchers. A. Policy Recommendation I: Conduct dialogues regularly with enhanced facilitation. 1. Dialogues on a jurisdiction‟s budget should be conducted quarterly or with greater frequency over a local government jurisdiction‟s fiscal year.
  • Dialogue and Decision 28 2. Dialogues should be facilitated with involvement by staff but facilitated by residents of the jurisdiction, so as to encourage sharing and collaborative ownership of the process. Staff facilitators should be drawn from a variety of the jurisdiction‟s departments, and residents should be drawn from different parts of the local government jurisdiction. Where it is possible to do so, consultants should be contracted to assist with facilitation, particularly where the dialogue implementation has not been previously performed in the jurisdiction. 3. One or more of the elected decision-makers of the jurisdiction should also be provided with the opportunity each year to assist with facilitation. In this way, elected officials who cast deciding votes on budgets will gain further appreciation for the dialogue process and its potential for influencing decision-making processes. 4. While dialogue processes are necessarily personal, involving and enhancing the connections between people directly, instruments should also be made available to allow people to review budget information and submit preferences online in a survey format throughout the year.B. Policy Recommendation II: Establish presentation opportunity for participants. 1. Dialogue participants should be provided with the opportunity to present the information from the dialogues directly to the decision-makers along with their personal stories. This opportunity should become part of the dialogue process. 2. Participating members of the public should be asked as part of the dialogue process – through the worksheet or other dialogue instrument – if they would like to assist the jurisdiction by serving as a presenter of a portion of the dialogue
  • Dialogue and Decision 29 summary. In this way, some members of the public would be able to share the experience with staff of presenting the results of the dialogues to the local government jurisdiction‟s governing body. 3. Participating members of the public should also be asked as part of the dialogue process if they would like to share their experience at the dialogue directly with the local government jurisdiction‟s governing body (e.g., City Council or Board of Supervisors) as part of an agendized component of the governing body‟s meeting or hearing. These personal experiences and stories will be considered as influential factors by the governing body in its decision-making process.C. Policy Recommendation III: Enhance and redirect participation to civic centers. 1. Certain places (such as the City Rotunda in the case of Salinas) have a long and well-documented record of being utilized as civic centers where people go to comment or directly interact with their elected officials, and these places should be utilized more extensively to deliberate and conduct dialogues on fiscal matters of concern to residents in a local government jurisdiction. 2. Commissions and committees of high value to elected officials which have not historically shown evidence of substantial public involvement (such as the Finance Committee in the case of Salinas) should be provided with civic engagement mechanisms -- public opportunities to engage through dialogue directly with such commissions and committees in civic centers where evidence of substantial public involvement has historically existed. As an example, the Finance Committee of the City of Salinas should be re-oriented so as to allow for quarterly dialogue opportunities with the public (with at least half of these
  • Dialogue and Decision 30 opportunities held in the City Rotunda and the other half held in well-utilized civic centers around the City), preceded by neighborhood-level planning to involve members of the general public and staff from departments throughout the City in announcing each dialogue opportunity beginning two months in advance. This would allow for substantial time for personal collaborative networks to extend the reach of the announcement of the dialogue opportunities through direct and personal communications in a manner beneficial to residents and which is valued by the City Council as an influential factor in the decision-making process. 3. A performance-based scoring system should be developed to allow members of the general public, as well as elected and appointed officials, to readily view the levels at which dialogues conducted are or are not influencing the decision- making process over time. This system should include measurable standards that would be collaboratively developed by the public, staff, and elected officials. Areas for Further Research Additional research is recommended in order to determine whether or not dialogueprocesses are improved. Dialogues do influence decision-making processes, however, a clear andsimple system of measurement of the level of this influence is needed. Because dialogueprocesses observed by the researcher were not clearly measured in the context of their influenceon decision-making processes, a comprehensive assessment should be performed of existingstandards of measurement relative to additional dialogue opportunities utilized by various localgovernments. Additional research on dialogue and decision-making should evaluate efforts ofgovernments that have already utilized dialogues prior to conclusion of budgetary decision-making, and should evaluate how to best measure the influence of these and future dialogues.
  • Dialogue and Decision 31 ReferencesAlves, A., Carneiro, L., Madureira, R., Patricio, R., Soares, A. L., & Pinho de Sousa, J. (2007). High performance collaborative networks: a realistic innovation or just an academic desire? In J. Legardeur, & J. Martin (Ed.), Towards new challenges for innovative management practices. II, pp. 51-55. Biarritz, France: ERIMA.Axelrod, R. H., Axelrod, E. M., Beedon, J., & Jacobs, R. W. (2004). You dont have to do it alone: how to involve others to get things done. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.Bergner, D. (2006). Dialogue Processes for Generating Decision Alternatives. Stanford University, Management Science and Engineering. Ann Arbor: ProQuest Information and Learning Company.Beugelsdijk, S., & Smulders, S. (2003). Bridging and Bonding Social Capital: Which type is good for economic growth? European Regional Science Association. Jyvaskila (Finland): Tilburg University.Blau, P. M., & Scott, W. R. (2005). The Concept of Formal Organization. In J. M. Shafritz, J. S. Ott, & Y. S. Jang, Classics of Organization Theory, 6th ed. (pp. 203-207). Belmont (California, U.S.A.): Wadsworth.Block, P. (2008). Community: the structure of belonging. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.Borgatti, S. P., Brass, D. J., Burt, R., Coleman, J. S., Cross, R., Gladwell, M., et al. (2003). Networks in the knowledge economy. (R. Cross, A. Parker, & L. Sasson, Eds.) New York, New York, United States of America: Oxford University Press, Inc.
  • Dialogue and Decision 32Burns, T., & Stalker, G. M. (2005). Mechanistic and Organic Systems. In J. M. Shafritz, J. S. Ott, & Y. S. Jang, Classics of Organization Theory, 6th ed. (pp. 198, 199). Belmont (California, U.S.A.): Wadsworth.Burt, R. S. (2000, August 10). Structural Holes versus Network Closure as Social Capital. Pre- print for a chapter in Social Capital: Theory and Research . (N. Lin, K. S. Cook, & R. S. Burt, Eds.) Chicago, Illinois, United States of America: University of Chicago and Institute Europeen dAdministration d"Affaires (INSEAD).Burt, R. S. (1992). Structural Holes: The Social Structure of Competition. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.Cross, R., Borgatti, S. P., & Parker, A. (2002). Making Invisible Work Visible: Using Social Network Analysis to Support Strategic Collaboration. California Management Review , 44 (2), 25-46.Fair, J., Gallagher, C. G., & Juarez Jr., J. (2008). Proposed Neighborhood Services Work Plan for Fiscal Year 2008-2009. Salinas: City of Salinas.Friedkin, N. E. (1993). Structural Bases of Interpersonal Influence in Groups: A Longitudinal Case Study. American Sociological Review , 58 (6), 861-872.Gagnon, M. A., Jansen, K. J., & Michael, J. H. (2008). Employee Alignment with Strategic Change: A Study of Strategy-supportive Behavior among Blue-Collar Employees. Journal of Managerial Issues , XX (4), 425-443.Gallagher, C. G., Juarez, J., & Rifa, J. J. (2007). Proposed Neighborhood Services Work Plan for balance of Fiscal Year 2006-2007 and Fiscal Year 2007-2008. Salinas: City of Salinas.Gittell, R. J., & Vidal, A. (1998). Community Organizing: Building Social Capital as a Development Strategy. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
  • Dialogue and Decision 33Gloor, P. A. (2006). Swarm Creativity: Competitive Advantage through Collaborative Innovation Networks. New York: Oxford University Press.Grandori, A. (1997). An Organizational Assessment of Interfirm Coordination Nodes. Organization Studies , 18 (6), 897-925.Grandori, A., & Soda, G. (1995). Inter-firm networks: antecedents, mechanisms and forms. Retrieved August 16, 2008, from BNET Business Network: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m4339/is_n2_v16/ai_17167886/pg_1?tag=artBody;c ol1Hanifan, L. J. (1920). The Community Center. Boston: Silver, Burdett, & Company.Katz, D., & Kahn, R. L. (2005). Organizations and the System Concept. In J. M. Shafritz, J. S. Ott, & Y. S. Jang, Classics of Organization Theory (6th edition) (pp. 480-490). Belmont (California, U.S.A.): Thompson Wadsworth.Krebs, V. (2008). Social Network Analysis, A Brief Introduction. Retrieved August 16, 2008, from Social Network Analysis software & services for organizations, communities, and their consultants: http://www.orgnet.com/sna.htmlMarkus, K. A. (2000). Twelve Testable Assertions about Cultural Dynamics and the Reproduction of Organizational Culture. In N. M. Ashkanasy, C. Wilderom, & M. F. Peterson, Handbook of Organizational Culture and Climate (pp. 297-308). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation. (2009). NCDDs Learning Exchange. Retrieved January 12, 2009, from National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation: http://www.thataway.org/exchange/categories.php?cid=105&hot_topic_id=1
  • Dialogue and Decision 34Oh, H., Labianca, G., & Chung, M.-H. (2006). A Multilevel Model of Group Social Capital. Academy of Management Review , 31 (3), 569-582.Osborne, D., & Plastrik, P. (2000). The reinventors fieldbook: tools for transforming your government (1st ed.). San Francisco, CA, United States of America: Jossey-Bass.Putnam, R. D. (2000). Bowling Alone. The collapse and revival of American community. New York: Simon and Schuster.Putnam, R. D. (1995). Bowling Alone: Americas Declining Social Capital. Journal of Democracy, 6:1 , 65-78.Putnam, R. D. (2000, March 19). Social Capital: Measurement and Consequences. Retrieved July 20, 2008, from Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development: http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/25/6/1825848.pdfSchein, E. H. (2004). The Levels of Culture. In E. H. Schein, Organizational Culture and Leadership (3rd edition) (pp. 25-37). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Schuldt, R., Ferrara, B., & Wojcicki, E. (2001). Profile of Illinois: An Engaged State (Illinois Civic Engagement Benchmark Survey Results). University of Illinois at Springfield, Center for State Policy and Leadership (formerly the Institute for Public Affairs). Springfield: Illinois Civic Engagement Project.Scott, J. (1991). Social Network Analysis. London: Sage.Siisiäinen, M. (2000, July 5-8). Two Concepts of Social Capital: Bourdieu vs. Putnam. Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä Region, Finland.Sustained Dialogue. (2009). Results-Oriented Dialogue for Corporations and Organizations. Retrieved March 1, 2009, from Sustained Dialogue Home: http://www.sustaineddialogue.org/programs/results-oriented_dialogue.htm
  • Dialogue and Decision 35ViewPoint Learning, Inc. (2009b). Viewpoint Learning, Inc.::Ground Rules of Dialogue. Retrieved April 7, 2009, from Viewpoint Learning, Inc.: http://www.viewpointlearning.com/about/rules.shtmlViewPoint Learning, Inc. (2009a). Viewpoint Learning, Inc.::What Is Dialogue? Retrieved April 7, 2009, from ViewPoint Learning, Inc.: http://www.viewpointlearning.com/about/dialogue.shtmlWojcicki, E. (2001). A major difference in definitions: Social Capital, civic engagement, and civil life. Retrieved April 21, 2009, from Civic engagement research of Ed Wojcicki: http://www.edwoj.com/Links/research_civic.htm InterviewsCity of Salinas City Council MembersExecutive Director, Common Sense California
  • Dialogue and Decision 36 Appendix A The Future We Want for Salinas FINAL JUDGMENT1. Look back at the sheet describing the three choices. Which of the three comes closest toyour vision for the future of Salinas? (CHOOSE ONE) Choice #1: Minimal government services at minimal cost Choice #2: Preserve the current level of service in Salinas Choice #3: Enhance Salinas as a community IF you chose option 3, please answer the following question: If the city budget is increased, how should the additional monies be spent? Put a (1) next to your first choice and a (2) next to your second choice. ___ Increase the police force ___ Provide after-school and summer programs for young people ___ Improve park & street maintenance ___ Provide services for seniors ___ Other (please specify)2. If it became necessary to make cuts, in what area would a cut be most acceptable to you?(CHOOSE ONE) Police Fire/EMS
  • Dialogue and Decision 37 Park and tree maintenance Maintenance of City facilities Library and recreational programming Administration3. In your judgment, of the several ways of raising revenue, which would you find mostacceptable? Put a (1) next to the choice you find most acceptable, and a (2) next to your secondchoice.___ Sales Tax___ Extension of Measure V (for at least 5 years)___ Parcel Tax___ Transient Occupancy Tax___ Lighting and Landscape Assessment___ Utility Users Tax & addition of mobile phonesDo you find any of the above choices UNacceptable? If so, put an (X) next to the one choice youfind least acceptable.
  • Dialogue and Decision 384. How useful were the background materials in helping you think about the issues?Very useful Somewhat useful Only a little useful Not at all useful5. How useful was the discussion in helping you think about the issues?Very Somewhat Only a little Not at all6. How helpful was the leader in guiding the meeting?Very Somewhat Only a little Not at all7. Overall, how much impact did your participation have on your thinking about the issuesfacing Salinas?A lot Some Only a little None8. What, if anything, was the most important thing you learned from today‟s session?__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________For classification purposes, please provide the following background information:1. How long have you lived in Salinas? Less than 2 years 2-5 years 6-10 years 11-20 years More than 20 years2. Do you own or rent your home? Own Rent
  • Dialogue and Decision 393. What is the highest level of schooling you have completed?Less than High School Graduate High School Graduate Some College College Degree Post-Graduate Study/Degree4. Do you have children aged 18 or under living at home? Yes No5. What is your gender? Male Female6. What is your age? 18-34 35-44 45-54 55-65 Over 657. What was your total household income before taxes in 2008?$20,000 or less $20,001 - $40,000 $40,001 - $60,000 $60,001 - $80,000$80,001 - $100,000 More than $100,0008. What is your ethnicity? (Choose one)White Latino African-American Asian American Indian/Alaska Native Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Other The Future We Want for Salinas Updates and Further InformationThis meeting is one of four taking place in Salinas this year. Updates on the results andinformation on related matters will be available in the coming months, and there may beadditional opportunities for you to participate in dialogue with other residents and city leaders.Please check if you are interested in receiving the following:
  • Dialogue and Decision 40____ Updates on the Community Dialogues____ Information about important city matters____ Information about opportunities for continued participationContact information (please print): Name:Address: Phone: E-mail: