Updates from the field…trends in public participation
Here are some other interesting trends in public participation:
In Portland, Oregon, a newspaper editorialized against the creation of a utility commission that they say would weaken the public’s ability to influence the way their dollars are spent.
In Menifee, California, near Los Angeles, another editorial protested moves by City Council to move comments from the public to the end of city council meetings, after all other business has concluded. Note this from the editorial: “Forcing people to wait several hours to speak would only suppress participation — yet citizen involvement in public business is crucial to building a thriving city. And listening to complaints is a responsibility of elected office. Raucous, even rude political discourse can be frustrating, but democracy is not always calm or neat. And no city council should give the impression that interacting with the public is too much trouble to be worthwhile.”
In the Tampa Bay area of Florida, a multi-phase public participation process earned solid coverage in the newspaper, with details early on in the article on how to participate, what’s under consideration, what’s happened so far, and how smoothly the meetings have gone (from the perspective of a stakeholder).
In King County, Washington, near Seattle, an interesting public engagement model is in search of new funding to continue.
At the federal level, it’s interesting and exciting to see U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offer a national stakeholder discussion in person, via teleconference, or live web stream