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Citizen engagement on life support at the hands of Harry Black despite heroic citizen efforts

Peter Hames, a retired government finance administrator, co-founded the Citizen Engagement Action Team (CEAT), a coalition of community leaders who researched community engagement in other cities and wrote a motion that was approved by Cincinnati City Council that includes principles of engagement and recommendations for the City Administration to follow in building a citizen engagement infrastructure.

In this interview you will learn about the standard for citizen engagement set by other cities, the importance of CEAT’s recommendations, and how Harry Black’s administration – along with four year terms, the challenges of a professional service model, and limited funding for community councils – has slowed the momentum for citizen engagement generated by Peter Hames and his 50+ cohorts.

You will also discover reason for hope in a city training program for citizen engagement – if both the administration and citizens work to build trust through dialog, vocally appreciate good engagement as it happens, and embrace a participatory leadership paradigm.

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