Deliberative Dialogue

Public Participation


“That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” President Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address

In his book With The People, Dr. David Mathews adds another preposition, “government with the people.” He offers a “with strategy” where government officials and employees work with citizens. This strategy sees people as creators and producers rather than consumers or clients.

Of citizens, he writes, “A democratic public can’t be a dependent body to be acted for or upon. It must be able to act, producing things that benefit all.”

And of elected officials, “To work with citizens is the best way to work for them.”

Impact Clay has applied this strategy with the College Drive Initiative and the High Ridge Estates Project in Keystone Heights. In both cases, county commissioners, Clay County staff, and citizens worked together to envision ways to enhance community life.

Impact Clay offers consultation services to organizations seeking support for projects designed to meet human needs and community improvement. Facilitating meetings of interested citizens, exploring best practices, and using a process called Deliberative Dialogue are several of the resources Impact Clay offers.

Gregg Kaufman is the Impact Clay staff person with responsibility for public participation efforts.

For more information – Contact Gregg