inCommon is the Participatory Governance Blog of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership at the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy. Here you will find information about the latest resources, studies, programs and discussions about Civic Engagement in California, throughout the nation and around the world. We hope that the case studies and technological innovations discussed here will spark new reflection and conversation regarding both what legitimate civic engagement looks like and why it is important for good governance, particularly at the local level.

New to Civic Engagement? Check out our foundational documents »

Common Engagement Mistakes?

What are the three most community engagement mistakes? Dave Biggs, the Chief Economist Officer at MetroQuest Community Engagement Software, offers his list:

  1. Expecting too much time
  2. Expecting too much empathy
  3. expecting too much planning knowledge.

He provides a clear explanation of these issues and offers some solutions for community engagers and their respective agencies:

When the community engagement project is too long you’ll be limiting participation to those who are eager and motivated to the program; oftentimes motivated by adverse feelings about the project. Additionally, the public do not care about the specific objectives the agencies are trying to meet. To omit the key public priorities or undue the focus on agency priorities can either infuriate people or drive them away from the cause. Lastly, the case studies examined were criticized for asking questions that the community did not fully understand. This disconnect results in people not willing to participate. The best case studies provided clear information about the pros and cons of various options. With unbiased information about the options, planners can generate genuine community support with decision-maker confidence.

You can read the full article at Planetizen, here.

Contributor: Ariana Romero, Pepperdine School of Public Policy, MPP Candidate ’18. 

NCoC: Civic Health Webinar

Join the Discussion! For the better part of a decade the Davenport Institute has been a proud partner of the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) as a California Civic Health partner.  We worked with them to publish the California Civic Health Index (2010), Golden Governance (2012), and several infographic pieces on the state of engagement in California.

NCoC is hosting an open webinar conversation to individuals and organizations interested in learning more about and getting more involved in Civic Health in their home state or community.  Next month NCoC will be hosting two webinar conversations: one on July 11 and one on July 14.

You can find out more and register online at the NCoC website here

H/T Benjamin Peterson, Pepperdine School of Public Policy Alumnus, MPP ’16.