Listening to understand
In preparation for this plan we conducted research, interviews, and workshops with City employees, community organizations, and local journalists; we reviewed surveys and engagement inputs including the City’s Satisfaction Survey and the wealth of community input collected through community plan engagement activities; we also explored best practices and trends for communications and engagement, and we learned from peers in other municipalities, near and far.
This plan is the culmination of all these inputs.
What we heard
Our community expects the City to communicate clearly and openly, to show how tax dollars are spent and how we’re responding to community needs, to explain decisions and report back on how community input is being used to inform and shape those decisions, and to be accessible in the digital and physical spaces that work for them. Moreover, we heard we need to:
- Be more transparent about local government decisions
- Make information easy to access and understand—for everyone
- Provide meaningful opportunities to engage and, equally important, show how community input influences decisions and outcomes
- Collaborate with community organizations on shared priorities and support each other to connect with underrepresented communities
- Find balance between traditional ways of communicating and engaging (e.g., community newspaper, in-person meetings) and newer ways created by advances in technology (e.g., online communications channels including websites, web-based news media, social media, and virtual engagement spaces)
- Ensure we are listening and giving voice to equity-deserving and rights-bearing communities
- Make internal communications more consistent, timely, and streamlined
Next: Pillar 1, Listen