In an era described as the “New Normal” with tightening budgets at the state and local levels of government, the “waste, fraud, and abuse” line items have long been cut. The next decisions involve public services we’ve come to expect from our governing institutions in areas ranging from public works to public safety. An effective response to this crisis on the part of elected and administrative leaders throughout California demands a more collaborative approach – one that views the public as more than taxpayers, but as problem-solving citizens. These participatory efforts can range from policy-making to innovative strategies for service delivery.
In November 2011, the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership at Pepperdine’s School of Public Policy, released a new report in collaboration with the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) and with support from California Forward. “Golden Governance: Building Effective Public Engagement in California” is part “how to” guide and part case study survey of new ways Californians are working creatively with their local governments to address community needs.
The report highlights seven case studies, but there is much more happening in this field throughout California. For that reason, the Davenport Institute and the NCoC have launched a new blog site, GoldenGovernance.org, to continue highlighting public/civic collaboration projects in California – particularly in areas related to service delivery. Like the report, GoldenGovernance.org will also feature “Hard-Learned Lessons” – concepts meant to instruct municipal and civic leaders as they engage their residents in both decision-making and service delivery. These quick messages are derived from actual experiences and our training seminar.
GoldenGovernance.org invites you to come see how communities across California are working together as governments and citizens to provide much-needed services in difficult financial times. The Davenport Institute also welcomes your own California “Stories of Success” and “Hard-Learned Lessons.”
We would love to feature the work taking place in your community. You can submit your stories to the Davenport Institute’s research coordinator, Ashley Trim, or share them through our new Facebook page.
Pete Peterson is executive director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement at Pepperdine School of Public Policy
Ashley Trim is research coordinator at the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement at Pepperdine School of Public Policy