The Reunited States is a documentary profiling several Americans who are dedicating their lives to promoting depolarization and communication across the political divide. These visionaries come from both right and left. They believe that we have more in common with our political opposites than what separates us. They are focused on helping communities around the country find common ground through shared stories.
From the Creators:
At a time when America is ripping apart at the seams, The Reunited States is a powerful and urgent documentary that follows four everyday heroes on the difficult journey of bridging our political and racial divides.
This workshop at NCDD’s 2006 conference addressed how civic engagement practitioners can assist local governments in thinking systematically about and choosing among the various forms of civic engagement in public decision-making, and here is where you can find all five handouts/presentations that from this popular session.
In the workshop, Terry Amsler presented a forthcoming Collaborative Governance Initiative publication on Strategic Civic Engagement addressing important questions for local government officials to consider in selecting, designing, implementing, and sustaining civic engagement processes.
Beyond the Vocal Few: Ideas To Encourage Broader Public Participation In Your Community
This 2-page document offers suggestions for achieving better representation in public involvement and civic engagement efforts that were compiled by the Institute for Local Government’s Collaborative Governance Initiative.
Ten Public Involvement “Hot Spots”
While most public involvement strategies offer positive results for all, some efforts are not as effective as sponsors and participants would like. Outlined in this two-page document from the Institute for Local Government are a few of the ‘hot spots’ where extra attention may mean the difference between success and failure.
Lisa Blomgren Bingham presented a research paper examining the work of AmericaSpeaks in three cities – Cincinnati, Chicago, and Charlotte. In interviews with local and regional government officials, researchers examined questions of entry and contracting, impact of the process on public policy, and sustainability or institutionalization of civic engagement processes.
Assessing Deliberation: Setting the Agenda, Implementing Policy, and Outcomes
This 33-page research report presented at NCDD’s 2006 conference examines AmericaSpeaks’ 21st Century Town Meeting – one important model for facilitating citizen participation through large scale (100-5,000) dialogue in which citizens come together, listen to each other in a public arena, and make decisions as a collective community. Many researchers ask why there is a gap between scholarship and practice in the field of deliberation; this study responds to the call for empirical testing by examining the AmericaSpeaks model of a 21st Town Meeting. Specifically, this study examines agenda setting, implementation, and outcomes in the context of three different cities where the Town Hall Meetings occurred. You can also download the 20-slide PowerPoint presentation used to introduce this research project.
Malka Kopell presented Community Focus’s report on participatory budgeting in Menlo Park, Your City/Your Decision: Phase II Report on Community Workshop Results, describing a year-long process to involve the community in decisions about a sustainable funding strategy for city-provided services.
Your City/Your Decision: Citizen-Based Budgeting in Menlo Park, CA
5-page PowerPoint document created by Malka Kopell.