”We have a history for being passionate about injustice in our communities. We also have a history of channeling that passion into self-destructive and ineffective behavior. With more community people properly trained to guide those passions into a positive, legal and organized effort to seek the justice that all people are guaranteed by God and the US Constitution, we would all be better served.”
If you drive through the streets of Austin, you will see juxtaposed living situations—model luxury homes next to homes that are older and in need of maintenance. When the Austin Code Department was initiated, the message for our office was that of awareness – “call Austin 311 to report violations.” But our team realized that we were treating the symptoms and not addressing possible solutions or preventing the violations.
In 2018, we shifted our mindset from “report your neighbor” to learning more about the codes and empowering individuals with resources and information to not only avoid violations but live in a safer environment, which is the end-goal for the department.
Our department is largely complaint-driven. We get a complaint, and our inspector goes out to investigate. We decided to become more pro-active, by creating a “heat map” to see the areas with a high incidence of complaints, and then we focus our outreach on the “hottest” areas.
It was just two months ago in a downtown Denver conference room when we met the finalists for the Executive Manager position. Out of 72 applicants, the choice came down to two fantastic candidates. Meeting them in person made us not want to make that choice. It made us want to make a different choice—the choice to hire them both. So we asked for their patience, worked through the numbers, and discovered and decided, it was time. Not only could we acknowledge there was too much for one manager to do, but it was time to specialize the Executive Manager role and create a new one as well.
So it is with great happiness, we are able to introduce you to our new Executive Manager (Gail) and to our new Strategic Development Manager (Erin). It’s due to years of steadily moving and growing into this era, that we have arrived and now, they have arrived to join us. We look forward to you meeting them through our events, services and member engagement opportunities. For now, please say hello to Gail and Erin.
POSITION: Sr. Strategic Communications Coordinator, HDR; formerly Sr. Strategic Communications & Community Engagement Specialist, City of Charlotte.
How long have you been in P2, and where have you worked?
My career has always included elements of public participation but I formally started learning and applying P2 principles in 2016 in my role with the City of Charlotte’s long-range capital investment program. My career has been centralized in Charlotte, NC in non-profit, government and consulting work.
I currently work as a Sr. Strategic Communications Corridor with HDR. As we deliver complex transportation and water infrastructure projects, my role encompasses working with all levels of the community to make sure they understand the project, how they can provide meaningful feedback and see how their collective feedback was used.
A new report from the Kettering Foundation, With the People: Making Democracy Work as It Should, offers a strategy for bridging some of the divide separating the people of the United States from their government and from the country’s major institutions. It envisions a form of collaboration that would have institutions working with citizens, not just for them.
University Network for Collaborative Governance (UNCG) is now seeking proposals from university researchers, teachers, professional staff and project directors in the fields of civic engagement, multi-stakeholder collaboration, collaborative public management, dispute resolution, and negotiation.
Proposals are welcome focusing on:
- Research and Scholarship
- Engaged Scholarship (action research, practitioner-academic joint work, etc.)
- Teaching, Training and Evaluations (for traditional on-campus students, or for non-degree professionals in training settings)
- Practice/Engagement Projects and Models
Proposals are due: May 29, 2019 1 PM Pacific Coast Time
The conference is open to all people interested and connected to a college or university. UNCG has student and working professional memberships.
The University Network for Collaborative Governance (UNCG) consists of college and university centers, institutes and programs that engage in service, scholarship and teaching to build the capacity for collaborative governance. UNCG champions collaborative governance by supporting and strengthening a network of faculty members and professionals from college and university centers, institutes, and programs that engage in collaborative governance practice, scholarship, and teaching.
Gwen Happ recently took on the job of secretary of IAP2 USA. “I was part of the early years with IAP2,” she says. “I was there during a period when the organization was experiencing slow steady growth and then… a stall… and declining membership. I’m so glad to see the organization turning it around and membership growing to where we are now.”
So now, let’s meet Gwen (Happ) Howard.