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, informati on * “citizens” = residents, people
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
WHAT IS CIVIC INFRASTRUCTURE?The regularopportunities, activities, and arenasthat allow people to connect witheach other, solve problems, makedecisions, and be part of acommunity.
NEW MODEL ORDINANCE ON PUBLIC PARTICIPATIONAvailable at www.deliberative-democracy.netDeveloped as a collaboration of:
“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
SLIDES AVAILABLE AT:WWW.SLIDESHARE.NET/MATTLEIGHNINGERGUIDES:HTTP://BIT.LY/M1PVMPHTTP://BIT.LY/IWJGQN
Why build stronger civic infrastructure?1. Make engagement easier, more efficient2. Build trust3. Give residents more control of the agenda4. Better address inequities5. Increase community attachment and economic growth6. Increase residents’ sense of legitimacy and “public happiness”