THE CONTEXT:HOW HAVE CITIZENS* CHANGED? More educated More skeptical – different attitudes toward authority Have less time to spare Better able to find resources, allies, information * “citizens” = residents, people
THE CONTEXT: FAMILIES WITH YOUNG CHILDREN Have the most at stake in community success More motivation to engage, but even less time Want to engage in community, not just politics
THREE MINUTES AT THE MICROPHONERetrieved from Cincinnati.com, July 27, 2012
SUCCESSFUL TACTIC: PROACTIVE RECRUITMENT Map community networks; Involve leaders of those networks; „Who is least likely to participate?‟ Use online as well as f2f connections; Follow up!
SUCCESSFUL TACTIC: SMALL-GROUP PROCESSES No more than 12 people per group; Facilitator who is impartial (doesn‟t give opinions); Start with people describing their experiences; Lay out options; Help people plan for action.
SUCCESSFUL TACTIC: FRAMING AN ISSUE Give people the information they need, in ways they can use it Lays out several options or views (including ones you don‟t agree with) Trust them to make good decisions
SUCCESSFUL TACTIC: ONLINE TOOLSParticularly good for: Providing background information Data gathering by citizens Generating and ranking ideas Helping people visualize options Maintaining connections over time
STRENGTHS OF PUBLIC PARTICIPATION Making policy decisions, plans, budgets Catalyzing citizen action Building trust, fostering new leadership Connections = disaster preparedness Attachment = economic vitality
LIMITATIONS OF PUBLIC PARTICIPATION (AS WE PRACTICE IT TODAY) Lots of work for temporary gain Inefficient – every organization on its own Community moves back to „politics as usual‟ „Engagers‟ set the agenda, not the „engaged‟ Limited impact on equity Laws on participation out of step with practices Not well measured or benchmarked
WHAT IS CIVIC INFRASTRUCTURE?The regular opportunities, activities,and arenas that allow people toconnect with each other, solveproblems, make decisions, and bepart of a community.
“PORTSMOUTH LISTENS”PORTSMOUTH, NH Ongoing process since 2000 Several hundred participants each time Addressed a number of major policy decisions: bullying in schools, school redistricting, city‟s master plan, balancing city budget, whether to build new middle school
JANE ADDAMS SCHOOL FOR DEMOCRACYWEST SIDE OF ST. PAUL, MN 50-200 people in “neighborhood learning circles” every month since 1998 Involves recent Hmong, Latino, Somali immigrants Young people involved in circles and other activities Cultural exchanges - food, crafts, storytelling Has resulted in new projects, initiatives, festivals, and change in INS policy
PARTICIPATORY BUDGETING IN BRAZILIAN CITIES Commitment from gov‟t to adopt budget; Wide range of ways to be involved; A carnival atmosphere; Started small, now huge – 60,000+ people
NEW MODEL ORDINANCE ON PUBLIC PARTICIPATIONAvailable at www.deliberative-democracy.netDeveloped as a collaboration of:
BUILDING BLOCK:Helpingneighborhood andschool groupsbecome more- effective- inclusive- participatory
BUILDING BLOCK: HYPERLOCAL ONLINEFORUMS More sustained Larger, more diverse numbers of people Easier for „engagers‟ – recruitment doesn‟t have to start from scratch More open to ideas from the „engaged‟
DIGITAL DIVIDES (PLURAL) Overall, Internet access growing “Access” – to Internet, to government – has never been enough Different people use different hardware Different people go to different places on the Internet Communities just as complex online as off – recruitment must be proactive
BUILDING BLOCK: CIVIC INDICATORS 1. Capture more of the basic data 2. Use databases 3. Establish „mid-level‟ indicators to connect basic data with „metadata‟ like Soul of the Community 4. Be transparent – and think about ways to allow people to contribute and analyze data