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Bringing Citizen Voices to the Table: A Guide for Public Managers

ISBN: 978-1-118-23087-9
448 pages
November 2012, Jossey-Bass
Bringing Citizen Voices to the Table: A Guide for Public Managers (1118230876) cover image

This important resource offers seven field-tested strategies for public managers to help them maximize citizen engagement as they implement the President's Open Government Directive. The Core Strategies for Citizen Engagement are: Establish Links to Decision-Makers; Ensure Demographic Diversity; Create Opportunities for Informed Participation; Maximize Tools of Facilitated Deliberation; Discover Shared Priorities; Establish Clear Recommendations for Action; and Sustain Citizen Engagement. The book includes project and leadership case studies from major federal agencies that elucidate the seven strategies in the context of real-world issues and challenges.

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Figures and Tables xvii

Foreword xix
By Alice M. Rivlin

Preface: Public Service and the Revitalization of American Democracy xxiii

Introduction: The Case for Citizen Engagement xxxv

1 Citizen Engagement in the United States 1

2 AmericaSpeaks and the 21st Century Town Meeting 19

3 Understanding the Power of Citizen Engagement: A Story of Post-Katrina New Orleans 37

4 Citizen Engagement from the Public Manager’s Perspective 65

5 Strategy One: Know the Context 85

Public Manager Perspectives: The Light Brown Apple Moth and the Importance of Knowing the Context 106
Jane Berkow, U.S. Department of Agriculture

6 Strategy Two: Link to Decision Makers 111

Public Manager Perspectives: The Public Engagement Project on Pandemic Influenza 127
Roger Bernier, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

7 Strategy Three: Achieve Diverse Participation 132

Public Manager Perspectives: Achieving Diverse Participation on Civil Rights Policy 148

Based on an Interview with Therese McMillan, U.S. Department of Transportation

8 Strategy Four: Create a Safe Public Space 154

Public Manager Perspectives: Building Capacity to Facilitate Public Dialogue 172
Deborah Dalton, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

9 Strategy Five: Inform Participants 178

Public Manager Perspectives: Be Fair, Be Open, Be Honest: Principles for Informing the Public and Regaining Their Trust 202

Tony Faast, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

10 Strategy Six: Discover Shared Priorities 208

Public Manager Perspectives: The Mountain Pine Beetle Coalition 228
Richard Stem, U.S. Forest Service

11 Strategy Seven: Sustain Citizen Engagement 233

Public Manager Perspectives: Embedding Citizen Engagement in Government Policy

Development Processes Through Advisory Councils 256

Based on an Interview with Bruce Gilbert, Rural Secretariat, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

12 Using Online Tools to Support Citizen Engagement 263

13 Infrastructure Needs in a Democracy 292

Epilogue: Who Is Responsible for Our Nation’s Democracy? We All Are! 320

References 325

Bibliography 339

Acknowledgments 349

The Author 355

Appendix A: Biographies of Public Managers with Case Studies in This Book 357

Appendix B: Organizations and Networks Practicing in the Field of Deliberative Democracy in the United States 363

Appendix C: AmericaSpeaks Projects by Subject Area 375

Appendix D: Convening Leading Practitioners and Scholars 383

Notes 385

Index 389

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