Democratic Engagement

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Democratic engagement is the practice of engaged citizenship through democratic mechanisms and principles. As part of the IGND, the City intends to extend democratic engagement via innovative education, communications and budgetary processes.


In May, the City launched the Sustainability and Climate Justice Committee, an advisory group and conduit between residents and the City. The City has also contracted with Cornell Cooperative Extension to conduct town halls, affording City residents the opportunity to ask questions and learn about electrification. We see these as evidence of the City’s desire to include residents in the IGND. However, the City has not made the progress needed to satisfy the second sub-goal of developing a Participatory Budget process. The due date for approval by Common Council has now passed. This may continue to be challenging as the new City leadership structure may necessitate a budget restructure.

Education and Engagement

In Progress

The city will create and implement strategies to educate and engage the community in the transition. They will solicit feedback and ideas from residents and partners.  The city will use generally accepted education tools such as webinars, local meetings at community centers and similar locations as well as innovative methods for two-way education/communications.

What criteria are we using to measure progress?
  • By December 2023: The city will develop and document detailed education and engagement plans that include proven change management practices
  • Ongoing: Under the banner of 1,000 Conversations, the city will hold community conversations across all mediums and will share them with the public.

Participatory Budget

Not Started

Participatory Budgeting (PB) engages residents in the government budget process. Under the IGND, the City will carve out a select set of activities and transfer fiscal and social responsibility from elected officials and city staff to residents.

What criteria are we using to measure progress?
  • Ongoing: The city will engage community members, including those from underrepresented communities, in conceptualizing the PB model.
  • By May 2023: The scope of the program will be defined and a portion of city budget will be set aside. The program will be documented and published.
  • By November 2023: Common Council approval of the program will be achieved.