Welcome from the President Anthony Williams, Mayor Washington, DC Welcome from Mayor Nagin Ray Nagin, Mayor New Orleans, LA Lessons from the Seminar…
Clarence Anthony, Mayor South Bay, FL Concepts of Democratic Governance Empowerment “Empowering your citizens to feel as if they have a part of the problem and can be a part of the process” Economics “True democratic governance involves providing opportunities for every citizen in your city to benefit from economic growth in that community” “When people really feel like they can live, work and raise their families in a community then they truly feel that they are part of the democratic governance process” Education “It is essential that we find a way to partner with our educational institutions” Equity “Every policy should represent the interests of ALL citizens” “When citizens feel they are not involved then their sense of community is not there” Celebrating Community “Creating opportunities for people to have dialogue” “…festivals are more about music, it’s about bring people together and getting involved in local government”
Ben Barber P o w e r If citizens are to be engaged in the governing process they need in some meaningful sense to feel empowered. You will be required to SHARE some real power with them. It’s easy to say you want to have publicity, you want their approval, you want their legitimization… “Power is what politics is about”And that’s a hard thing to do. But are you actually going to seize, give away, yield some of your power to them? The art of L i s t e n i n g Your job is not to talk but to l i s t e n. Listening is a great art. The democratic art. The art of knowing how to listen and hear is a dear one and a rare one in our democracy.
We have to cross the boundaries of race… The thing that makes us so gifted as a nation is that we have so many boundary crossers within our midst. We have an extraordinary cadre of leaders- at the national, local, and neighborhood level. People who are outsiders… people who are different and are being objective. Angela Blackwell New generation of Policy Leaders The notion of difference Leaders who are close to the ground… Accountable to the community… Have a stake in the change process… And see themselves there for the long haul… How do we build more leaders of color? More leaders committed to social change. More leaders who are grounded in community. YOU are in a wonderful position to exemplify that leadership… To shine a bright light on it… To connect it… To be able to expose it to some of the strategies that are happening around. It is hard to talk about race. …to talk about ethnic, religious and other kinds of differences. A S-t-u-n-n-i-n-g moment in the development of this country. And it could be an extraordinary moment for the world. If the U.S. would stop and take advantage of the difference that divides us. And we begin to systematically figure out how to build a leadership that allows us to really be boundary crossers. We have to cross the boundaries of sector… We have to cross the boundaries of age…. We need…
Workshops John Ott The State of Civic Engagement The issue of Self Interest. Acknowledge the self interest of others to avoid hidden agendas and be objective. Develop a Language of Capacity to converse with all interests. ■ We should begin relationships with people in opposition to us even before we want something from them.
Behaviours Skills & competencies Public commitments Purpose Values & norms Feelings—e.g., of safety & connection Alignment of group & individual intentions Budgets Systems Structures Collaborative agreements Individual Group InteriorExterior FOUR DIMENSIONS OF CHANGE Thoughts Attitudes Feelings Sense of purpose Inner commitments John Ott The State of Civic Engagement
Effort Effect QuantityQuality PERFORMANCE MEASURES MAP Is anyone better off? How well did we do it? How much did we do? John Ott The State of Civic Engagement
Workshops Phil Boyle Democratic Participation & Civic Culture How to identify issues in land use dilemmas and make choices using American public values
Workshops Matt Leighninger & Gwen Wright Mobilizing Citizens for Problem Solving Democratic Organizing Principles Solving public problems requires the whole community Proactive, network-based recruitment is critical Empathy can be achieved through face-to-face dialogue Deliberative decision-making is more effective Political legitimacy promotes responsibility and leadership To keep people involved, give them a wide range of reasons to participate
Workshops Nora Campos and Lois Giess Experiences of San Jose and Rochester The Strong Neighborhoods Initiative will: improve neighborhood conditions enhance community safety expand community services strengthen neighborhood associations Neighbors Building Neighborhoods will: create community partnerships encourage capacity building emphasize community strengths and assets
Closing Plenary James Hunt, Councilmember, Clarksburg, WV Anthony Williams, Mayor, Washington, DC Steve Burkholder, Mayor, Lakewood, CO Robin Beltramini, Councilmember, Troy, MI Charles Hughes, Councilmember, Gary, IN
The time and the place to say with some degree of safety… “I disagree with you, and this is why. This is where I come from.” They cannot do that at a public hearing, or at a city council meeting, when everyone is on TV. It cannot be done in that form. If they believe that you will take their ideas and beliefs and help them build the community of their dreams, or solve the issue, in a manner that is acceptable, they will be with you. Remarks from: Robin Beltramini What good does it do to ask, if we will not follow through? All about relationships. All about trust. What democratic processes do is give citizens a chance to have that crucial conversation with each other. No one trusts us if we don’t follow through. People have to invest their own personal talent. their own personal time.
Feedback Session Emerging Themes/Challenges Need to focus on strengths, not always problems (appreciative inquiry) More (information) on questions of sharing power More instruction on how to ease the tension between representative and participatory democracy Educating citizens about local governance structure and procedures How to mobilize citizens when they are complacent Order should be Trust, then Engagement and Leadership Finding out what issues will reach people
Feedback Session Emerging Themes/Challenges Identifying ways to build a community’s sense of itself Acknowledging local officials fears of citizen engagement Structure of getting government and staff buy-in, plus community buy-in, then establishing trust Identifying ways for people to trust local elected officials Understanding role as elected “leader” Strengthening relationships to countries, states, etc Strengthening Partnerships by acknowledging history and current inequalities
Feedback Session What NLC can do to help strengthen the democratic governance topic: Working with city managers and city staff “How To” on engaging citizens Specific strategies for engaging people Knowing what strategies to apply Developing and strengthening skill sets Provide training, instruction and support for local officials in: Analyzing needs of the city Alternatives to “culture of complaint”