The commitment to resident engagement and equity that helped make Dubuque a four-time winner of the All-America City Award drove the City of Dubuque and the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque to engage the National Civic League to seek ways to build even greater engagement capacity.
The City of Dubuqe, IA wanted to deepen engagement and bolster community leadership. To do so, Cori Burbach, the Assistant City Manager, hired the League to address resident engagement and better understand the perspectives of hard to reach populations.
The League proposed an approach that would reach traditionally marginalized groups, developing tools and materials for civic strengthening. Looking to develop a set of resident-defined engagement principles and to provide engagement training for local leaders, Dubuque and the League:
- Phase 1: Created and hosted a workshop with residents to:
- Identify key principles that residents want to see the city implement when it comes to engagement
- Provide engagement tips and training for local community activists and leaders
- Phase 2: Developed and administered a training webinar to:
- Address key elements of engagement with city and nonprofit staff
- Provide tips for recruiting traditionally difficult to reach groups and a tool for site selection
Approximately 30 people attended the workshop. Attendees came from a neighborhood targeted by the city for its capacity-building needs, and included local government, police, schools, nonprofits, students and residents. Around 15 city and nonprofit staff were engaged with the webinar. Moving forward, this effort remains active, supporting Dubuque in better engaging residents and equipping staff and others with the tools and training to strengthen their engagement, helping their community to thrive!
At the National Civic League, we are thrilled to worked with clients, like Dubuque, IA to help us achieve our mission through our Community Assistance program.
If you are interested in partnering with the National Civic League around community engagement planning, training, capacity building or research please contact either Sarah Lipscomb (SarahL@NCL.org) or Aaron Leavy (AaronL@NCL.org).