skip navigation

MRSC Insight Blog


Posts for Public Participation

Using a Scavenger Hunt and Gamification to Unite a Growing City

Using a Scavenger Hunt and Gamification to Unite a Growing City

October 12, 2018 by Riley Sweeney
Category: Parks and Recreation , Public Participation

Guest author Riley Sweeney, Communications Officer/Recreation Coordinator for the City of Ferndale, writes about engaging city residents through game-playing via a scavenger hunt.

Read more | 2 comments


Communications in 10-5-1

Communications in 10-5-1

September 18, 2017 by Bob Jean
Category: Public Participation

Just as in our personal relations, communications are essential for fostering good community relations. Council/Commission Advisor Bob Jean looks at the role of the message, messenger, and media in local government communications efforts. 

Read more | 0 comments


Top Picks: Citizen Engagement Tools, Impacts of Shrinking Retail, Telecommuting Update

Top Picks: Citizen Engagement Tools, Impacts of Shrinking Retail, Telecommuting Update

July 14, 2017 by Byron Katsuyama
Category: Strategies and Programs , Public Participation , Planning

Policy consultant Byron Katsuyama identifies some of the emerging issues and innovations that local government leaders should be aware of.

Read more | 0 comments


Using Citizen Academies to Educate and Engage your Citizenry

Using Citizen Academies to Educate and Engage your Citizenry

March 27, 2017 by Steve Butler
Category: Public Participation

Citizens academies offer constituents the opportunity to learn about different aspects of local government functions via a one-time or a series of presentations. This blog looks at a few examples of citizens academies, both within and outside of Washington State.

Read more | 1 comments


Community-Led Demonstration Projects: A Cost Effective Way to Engage Citizens and Implement Plans

Community-Led Demonstration Projects: A Cost Effective Way to Engage Citizens and Implement Plans

June 27, 2016 by Josh Mahar
Category: Public Participation

A new policy from Burlington, Vermont provides a neat example of how jurisdictions can give their enthusiastic citizen activists a clear avenue for taking action.

Read more | 0 comments


Top Picks: Making Density Work, Using Tech to Engage with Citizens, Obliterating Worst Practices

Top Picks: Making Density Work, Using Tech to Engage with Citizens, Obliterating Worst Practices

April 13, 2016 by Byron Katsuyama
Category: Public Participation , Management , Comprehensive Planning-Growth Management

Policy consultant Byron Katsuyama identifies some of the emerging issues and innovations that local government leaders should be aware of.

Read more | 1 comments


Open Data Portals for Washington Local Government Finance Data

Open Data Portals for Washington Local Government Finance Data

March 9, 2015 by Mike Bailey
Category: Public Participation , Finance Advisor

There is a lot of attention these days on the transparency of governmental spending.  That is as it should be.  As I’ve said before in this column, this is “other people’s money” and we in government have an important responsibility to spend it wisely.  The community that contributes these funds (both voluntarily through fees and involuntarily through taxe...

Read more | 2 comments


Redmond Releases Budget as Interactive Web Tool

Redmond Releases Budget as Interactive Web Tool

February 13, 2015 by Josh Mahar
Category: Budgets and Budgeting , Public Participation

Trying to figure out how to engage your community better in the complex world of local government budgets? Redmond may have an answer for you. The city of 55,000 has come out with a new online tool, Open Budget Redmond, aimed at demystifying the budgeting process. The interactive web portal offers simple filtering and analytics tools that allow citizens, not to mention councilmembers and other city leaders, to quickly and easily dig into various sections of the city’s 2015-2016 biennial budget.

Read more | 0 comments


When Public Comment is Challenging

December 19, 2014 by Ann G. Macfarlane
Category: Public Participation , Council-Commission Advisor

This fall I had the privilege of working with planning directors from across the state at their 25th annual conference in Chelan, Washington. Our focus was on keeping things on track when folks are rude, crude or confused, particularly during public comment sessions. At the end of the day, I asked the participants to share the most valuable thing they had learned from our work together.

Read more | 0 comments


Who's Your CEO - “Chief ENGAGEMENT Officer”?

October 12, 2014 by Bob Jean
Category: Public Participation , Council-Commission Advisor

Coming out of the “Great Recession” these past 4 years, what percentage of all money measures submitted to voters by local governments nationwide (cities, counties, schools, etc) do you think passed?  30%?  40%? More? Less?  According to research by the International City County Management Association (ICMA), from 2010-2013 over 70% of local money referendums were approved by voters! And those initiated by direct community engagement passed by 90%!

Read more | 0 comments


The Value of Volunteers

The Value of Volunteers

May 22, 2014
Category: Public Participation

I am a volunteer. I volunteer for nonprofit organizations and a community garden in a Seattle park. People volunteer for various reasons. Motivating forces include the desire to become...

Read more | 1 comments


Can You Hear Me Now? Reaching Out to Engage Increasingly Diverse Communities

Can You Hear Me Now? Reaching Out to Engage Increasingly Diverse Communities

February 6, 2014 by Sue Enger
Category: Public Participation

According to the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Planning Association, “when it comes to effective communication … the ‘general public’ doesn’t exist.”  Rather than...

Read more | 4 comments


16-Year-Old Voters Make the Difference in Mayor's Election!

December 4, 2013 by Flannary Collins
Category: Elections , Public Participation

You would not see this type of headline in Washington State, but in a small city in Maryland, it actually could happen. Takoma Park, MD, located just outside the other Washington, became the first city in the nation to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in municipal elections. The city council’s aim was to boost voter turnout; the jury is still out on whether this will help, but – what an...

Read more | 1 comments


Kirkland Takes Online Citizen Engagement to a New Level

Kirkland Takes Online Citizen Engagement to a New Level

October 17, 2013 by Byron Katsuyama
Category: Public Participation

For many years, I have been following the efforts of Washington local governments to provide citizens with greater access to information and services using information technology, initially through the development of comprehensive websites and more recently through the use of various social media...

Read more | 3 comments


Speed Dating: It

Speed Dating: It's Not Just for Your Social Life Anymore

July 26, 2013 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Public Participation

I was recently recruited by my eldest son to participate in a process to help develop a new generation of civically involved young adults. My first...

Read more | 0 comments


Who Says You Can’t Fight City Hall?

Who Says You Can’t Fight City Hall?

March 6, 2013 by Byron Katsuyama
Category: Public Participation

We have all heard the expression, “You can’t fight city hall.” Maybe we don’t hear it exactly in these terms always, but the sentiment is out there. At its heart, it expresses a deeply cynical view about the ability of average citizens to have a say and an impact ...

Read more | 2 comments


Improving Citizen Outreach and Engagement

Improving Citizen Outreach and Engagement

January 9, 2013 by Byron Katsuyama
Category: Public Participation

I have had the pleasure over the last eight years of serving as a member of the city of Kirkland Planning Commission. At our annual retreat a couple weeks ago, we were discussing ways to improve citizen...

Read more | 2 comments


More Variations on the Public Meeting Theme

More Variations on the Public Meeting Theme

September 27, 2012 by Sue Enger
Category: Public Participation

In my August 15, 2012 blog post (Not your Grandfather’s Town Meeting), I described several interesting technological tools that can create buzz, boost meeting participation, quickly gauge the views of those who attend, and even make the process more fun - the telephone town hall meeting (TTH) and polling devices. ...

Read more | 0 comments


Is There an App for That? Developments in Mobile E-Gov

May 22, 2012
Category: Public Participation , Information Technology

I just upgraded to a smartphone, and I now have apps to find the weather, get directions, read news, access Microsoft Office, and most importantly, find out when my next bus will arrive.  People love their apps, and local governments are getting into the act, too.  The trick is to effectively take advantage of a new technology to build tools that help residents and local businesses quickly access...

Read more | 1 comments


Top Five Video Ideas for Local Government

May 21, 2012 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Public Participation , Information Technology

The digital futurists predict that within three years 80 percent or more of internet content will be via video.  Why is that important to local government?  Citizens are already accessing most of their information about local government via the internet, and there will be a growing expectation that the information presented on your website will be via video.  The flexibility of the internet as a...

Read more | 0 comments


Seattle Councilmember Richard Conlin on Civic Engagement

Seattle Councilmember Richard Conlin on Civic Engagement

April 20, 2012 by MRSC
Category: Public Participation

This post from Seattle Councilmember Richard Conlin reflects his insights from years of experience in working with neighborhoods to manage conflict and develop consensus on controversial growth and land use issues. He stresses that successful outcomes start with a well-designed civic engagement process.

Read more | 0 comments


 more

Blog Archives

GO

Follow Our Blog