Do Labels Help or Hurt in “Citizen” Participation?

You say SKED-ule, and I say SCHEDJ-ule. Does it matter?  Is  “Citizen” Participation the same as “public” participation? Here’s an exploration of labels and meanings intended, but may not received as intended.

For community engagement (the title of this blog) how you categorize or label people in a particular participation process is important. Words matter because it can create an impression of inclusion or exclusion. Meanings may vary from “you are a user of a government service” to “you and your neighbors are policymakers.”


Is “citizen participation” open to people who are not “citizens”? Continue Reading