Public engagement is not selling the public on a pre-determined solution or convincing the public to accept a policy decision. It is not a process for regular commission or council meetings or for people on either side of the political spectrum to complain or promote their favorite solutions. It is not staff or elected officials answering questions from the front of the room.
Public engagement is residents talking with residents, staff, and elected officials. It is staff and elected officials asking good questions, listening and learning.
In addition to skills and experience in process design and facilitation, we help people understand complex issues and work together productively to solve them through constructive conversations.
We have designed a number of successful public engagement processes, two of which won awards. See Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District’s case study on Participedia.org.