NCC Council member Sue Wilke has been co-chairing a Citizen Engagement Action Team composed of 30 local members of local neighborhood community groups. The group came together in January in response to civic engagement goals detailed in Plan Cincinnati, the city’s comprehensive long-term plan passed last November. The Plan includes goals such as building a robust public life and strengthening the city with energized people. The team conducted research into best practices, surveyed 15 cities’ citizen engagement programs and created a proposal to develop effective citizen engagement in Cincinnati. The first step in a series of five recommendations is for City Council to adopt the set of citizen engagement policy and principles the Team developed. The Team is seeking support from community councils and Northside was the first neighborhood to endorse passage of the policy and principles at its meeting on October 22, 2013. To read a copy of the policy and principles and for more information about the proposal: ONLINE. The Team will be seeking Council approval at it December meeting.
Excerpt from the plan:
In Plan Cincinnati, the comprehensive plan adopted November 21, 2012, the Live section’s first
goal is to “Build a robust public life.” (p. 149). The purpose of that goal is to achieve future
population growth and social vitality through “an active, engaged citizenry and an atmosphere
that is welcoming to an array of backgrounds, including immigrant populations.” (p. 149)
One strategy to accomplish that goal is to “Create a welcoming civic atmosphere,” building
“…stronger communities by increasing civic engagement.” (p. 153). Quoting the Plan, “When
people feel like they are truly a part of their community, they are more likely to feel optimistic
and actively participate in improving their neighborhood…When all of our residents are
involved and creatively engaged at the neighborhood and city level, our city can be
extraordinary.” (p. 153). Specifically, Plan Cincinnati recommends, within the next one to three
years, the following action steps:
- Researching “successful community-engagement methods used by local organizations and best
practices from across the country.” (p. 154).
- Developing a “… a civic engagement strategy to help increase the capacity of the public to
participate in the decision-making process.” (p. 154).
The Citizen Engagement Action Team.
To assist in making our city extraordinary and quickly move the city forward toward
comprehensive citizen engagement, a group of some thirty active citizen volunteers,
representing twenty-nine neighborhood and civic organizations (see Attachment 1, p. 7), came
together to take these short-range action steps in 2013. We named ourselves the Citizen
Engagement Action Team (CEAT).