Eleven Tips to Improve Public Engagement on Realignment Issues
The Institute for Local Government offers the following general tips to help guide effective public engagement relating to public safety realignment as part of the 2012 Institute for Local Government Public Engagement Program.
Here’s an excerpt, on “clarifying goals” when approaching public engagement:
1. Clarify Your Public Engagement Goals.
Determine the intended goal(s) of your public engagement meetings or other activities. Do you want to inform the public about public safety realignment, its requirements and its impacts, answer questions, and/or ask residents or others to identify values, concerns or recommendations that will help plan or guide the realignment undertaking?
Information sharing should be part of any effort, as should the opportunity for participants to ask questions. However, it can be very helpful to think about the specific areas where public input would be useful and to ask participants for their guiding views or recommendations on these specific points.
Approaches that include deliberation among participants, and more collective input will typically require more time, more meeting preparation, and good facilitation. Don’t set a public engagement activity up for failure by trying to accomplish – or claim – more than available time and the chosen approach will allow.
This article is a service of the Institute for Local Government (ILG), whose mission is to promote good government at the local level with practical, impartial, and easy-to-use resources for California communities. ILG is the nonprofit 501(c)(3) research and education affiliate of the League of California Cities and the California State Association of Counties