A short highlight about a simple – and yet complex – question for NYC voters: Do you want to establish a new engagement body, within city government, and a specific kind of outreach and participation – on a slice of the overall city government budget?
Here is the start of the ballot question:
Question # 2: Civic Engagement Commission
This proposal would amend the City Charter to:
Create a Civic Engagement Commission that would implement, no later than the City Fiscal Year beginning July 1, 2020, a Citywide participatory budgeting program established by the Mayor to promote participation by City residents in making recommendations for projects in their communities;
A report by the New York City Charter Revision Commission covers this question and two other ballot questions for this fall.
We’ll find out how New York voters decide. But for now, should this kind of decision be left to voters? Is this a good way to use ballot initiatives to both set up a new piece of the city’s engagement approach AND to specify a particular area – the city budget – for a new form of engagement?
Editor’s Note: This comes from the blog of the IBM Center for The Business of Government. Drawing from the book, New Power (by Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms), the premise is that “Participation needs to be much more than a website that allows you to point out occasional potholes in the street; it needs to be a constant and compelling experience that keeps people working together on the things that matter.” In their view, “The goal of new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.”
What are the goals of civic engagement?
What different models exist?
What is a real-life example of a pioneer in engagement? The example of four initiatives in New York City show the pioneering spirit.
What could hold back or expand engagement initiatives?
As our communities grow and become more diverse, local government agencies are combining new and tested techniques to engage their residents. In the traditional model of community engagement, agencies relied on public meetings to get feedback from residents. While this can still be an effective means of engagement for some populations, many residents are missed in the process. Similarly, as governments have embraced new technology to bridge the gap, there is still no substitute for face-to-face interactions.
So what is the next step? How do you reach as many residents as possible in a meaningful way?Continue Reading