Public and community engagement, involvement and participation is what we are doing as consultants. It is also what we help others do most effectively. We work with teams, companies and agencies on reaching consensus through public participation and collaboration. We usually find ourselves bridging divides by creating spaces where people are willing to participate to build solutions. Community engagement builds consensus. And below you have some of the best of the news and tips that we have found about how to engage communities. Or what happens when you do not. The latest news handpicked by our public sector consultants, all wrapped up with a sometimes snarky – yet always informed – perspective. Enjoy!

Social community cooperation concept and group crowdfunding investment symbol as a team of diverse hands nurturing a sapling tree with roots wrapped and connecting the people together i a 3D illustration style.

Community Engagement

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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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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Chamomile Tea or a Double Bourbon?

At the risk of sounding like a broken record (“A broken what!?” the young person asked.), this business of working with the public is tough and getting tougher. As public meetings get uglier, officials are starting to realize that the solution doesn’t lie in reducing citizen comments from three minutes ...
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Show Me the Money

Participatory budgeting may be one of the most obvious and straightforward ways of engaging the public in the affairs of government. It provides people with the opportunity of making very specific decisions about how their collective public money, or at least meaningful portions of it, will be spent. The origins ...
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