The Participation Blog

Author name: John Godec

FOIA Factoid

In 2022, the U.S. Federal Government received 930,000 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. And that’s just the feds. If you’ve worked in the public sector at any level, I expect you’ve dealt with public information requests and the challenges that they create. There’s a baked in tension between the ...
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Civics 101

Back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and my friends and I had to ride our chickens to school (couldn’t afford horses), we were taught a quaint subject called “civics” and/or “government.” That gradually came to an end as school curricula changed and narrowed. And that lack of basic understanding of ...
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Facilitate Don’t Dominate

Getting the best out of people and nudging them into some level of cooperation is a learnable art and skillset. It’s sort’a required for the work that we do. Although we do deal with students and clients who sometimes just oversee the function of public participation but don’t actually work ...
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Pass That Dog Down

Eli Lilly and Company announced this month that they’re reducing the price of their most common insulin by 70% and capping patient out-of-pocket insulin costs at $35 or less a month. It might make cynical people wonder why. But in spite of how things feel these days, the overall arch ...
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Just Not Here!

“I’m not opposed to (FILL IN THE BLANK) – just don’t put it here!” Boy, if I had a dollar for every time I hear that said at a public meeting, I could hire Stephen King to write this newsletter. NIMBYism (Not In My Back Yard) has been around as ...
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Citizens Under Attack

Direct democracy or citizen lawmaking might be the clearest example of true, authentic public participation that we can think of. Yet citizens taking direct control of their own governance through ballot initiatives are under wholesale attack. Constituents demonstrating power in politics simply doesn’t sit well with a significant number of ...
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