I found out about the “Get Engaged! A Guide to Getting Involved in Your Community” program on Twitter. Eric Walcott, a State Specialist with Michigan State University Extension’s Government and Public Policy programs, was sharing his experience offering the program in Grand Traverse County, Michigan. Here are the 2 tweets that prompted me to reach out to Eric.
Can’t emphasize that enough. Multiple electeds said this to program participants, and residents said “Really?” and were full of ideas.
— Eric Walcott (@ericwalcott) November 1, 2017
Our conversation for the podcast covers the “Get Engaged” program, but also Eric’s work talking with local governments about real engagement. As we talked, I was reminded of this Gapingvoid illustration:
Eric referenced the Public Participation Spectrum from the International Association for Public Participation as a resource for increasing public engagement. I think it’s a great resource, not just for governments, but for Extension programs. Eric wrote a series of articles on the public participation spectrum. This is the first article in the series: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/public_participation_beyond_public_comment_at_open_meetings and here’s the last onewith links to all the prior articles: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/engaging_the_public_in_local_government_decisions_empower.