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Category: Government

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

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.

Big Tickets, Blue Ribbons, and Poverty in Cincinnati

Option One - The Big Ticket Approach. Higher taxes on the rich. Suppress charter schools. Abandon public-private partnerships like 3CDC. Bring more low-income housing to the suburbs. End mass incarceration. Protect wages from the effects of globalization! Let’s call this the Big Ticket approach to solving poverty.

City Ignores Public Input in Setting Public Input Opportunities

Mr. Black states that, “As an Administration, we are continuously looking for ways to enhance the budget process.” In developing this engagement process, however, he has ignored a two-year effort of citizens and members of his own administration to build a more engaging budget process.

Citizens’ Budget Recommendations for City of Cincinnati Budget Process^

Purposes of Citizens Budget: 1) To engage citizens at the outset of the budget process by identifying and understanding their current concerns and hopes for the city, which should ultimately drive the budget; 2) To holistically inform council on the both consensus and conflicting values held by the public; 3) To provide the administration with clear direction as to the overall needs that must be addressed in the upcoming budget.

CPS Board Fails at Community Engagement

CPS has received significant public blow-back over two recent issues: sponsorship of an in-district, for-profit charter school; and taking-back the old Clifton School building from the Clifton Cultural Arts Center (CCAC). The merits of these important issues will not be discussed here. Rather, this post will address a more troubling trend: the refusal of CPS board leadership to engage the community in meaningful ways. Unfortunately, poor engagement is a long-standing complaint about CPS.

Part II, Knocking on the Door of City Hall: Nobody Home…

The CE team worked on a curriculum for training city employees in citizen engagement and administrative regulations designed to measure the skills and practices necessary to achieve CE competency. To date, however, neither the training curriculum or administrative regulations have been promulgated or used.

City Administration Fails to Engage Citizens in Designing Engagement Program

The bottom line is that people support what they co-create, and that has to start with designing the systems for engaging each other in the first place. That way, you have all those influential people like Sue and Peter and Jeanne fired up to get behind the plan you present today rather than express their frustrations.

Rec Centers–the Heart of Urban Communities

Never underestimate the value of Cincinnati recreation centers to their surrounding communities. Check out this photo montage to get a glimpse of the role the Hawthorne Avenue rec center plays in East Price Hill every day.

Knocking on the Door of City Hall

In early 2013, a group of some thirty active citizen volunteers, representing twenty-nine neighborhood and civic organizations, came together to research, prepare and submit to city council a proposal to move the city forward toward stronger and comprehensive citizen engagement (CE). We named ourselves the Citizen Engagement Action Team (CEAT).

The Right Way to Involve Citizens in Planning

In 2012, the leadership of the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC) found itself at a crossroads. After five years of work, a regional land use/transportation framework plan had nearly imploded in a tangle of misunderstandings, missteps by inexperienced staff, political tensions and suspicions. For the process to result in the strategies and guidance that the region needed to come out of it, something very different had to happen.