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Policies addressing today’s most pressing issues require effective public participation, so it is necessary to build a broad-based understanding of what constitutes an effective public process and develop the capacity to improve community dialogue and catalyze public action.
The 2021 All-America City Awards gave communities an opportunity to reflect on the past year and take stock of what they had been able to achieve and overcome. Understandably, projects of this year’s ten winning communities fell primarily into two categories: pandemic response and racial equity efforts.
Detroit’s Department of Neighborhoods provides a direct link between the local government and block clubs, community groups, business owners, faith leaders, educators, and everyday residents. Its successes have demonstrated the benefits that emerge when citizens organize in a formalized manner to work with their elected officials and advocate for their neighborhoods.
Programs serving youth are often developed and implemented with little or no input from the people that use them, so it is not surprising when those programs fail to attract youth interest or effectively serve their needs. Research demonstrates that engaging the target population in the planning, content and delivery of programs increases the likelihood of success.
Orlando, Florida, uses effective service delivery alongside sustained, full-circle feedback, as a means by which to promote civic engagement and improve service delivery, despite the challenge of a rapidly growing population. Through its innovative Digital Platforms and Service Design team, city government seeks to foster a high-quality delivery of services to improve the interactions with the public.
National Civic Review (Print ISSN 0027-9013, Online ISSN1542-7811) is published quarterly by the National Civic League, Copyright © 2018 National Civic League.