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America Today - Civility Series

Public meetings don't work. So what does?

By Doug Oplinger Published: July 26, 2013

Public Agenda, a national public engagement research organization, studied involvement in local government in California. Here's an excerpt:

What is the state of public participation in local government decision making in California?

Two new Public Agenda reports present the shared — and divergent — perspectives of public officials and the leaders of civic organizations on the issue. The research indicates:

  • Public meetings often do not meet the needs of residents or local officials.
  • Large segments of the public are often missing from the decision-making process — especially low-income populations, immigrants and young people.
  • Local officials and civic leaders in California share concern for a disconnect between the public and local decision makers.
  • Both also desire greater public participation and stronger collaboration.

See more of the report.

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