Listening to Residents

As I continue to engage residents throughout our City, I am hearing a consistent theme; no one listens to us.  Yes, we can say that having three council meetings offsite allow constituents to engage us.  Truth be told, they are sparsely attended.  But we can do better and with a little tweaking, residents will have a stronger voice with their representatives.  I have come up with a few solutions along with some adjustments on how we can make things better.

1. Hold More Public Meetings

Public meetings are a great way to engage with residents and hear their concerns and ideas. We can can hold additional town hall meetings, community forums, and other public gatherings to solicit feedback and discuss the issues our city faces moving forward.

2. Conduct Surveys

Surveys are an effective way to gather data on residents’ opinions and preferences. We can easily conduct surveys on a variety of topics, such as transportation, housing, public safety, and environmental issues.

3. Use Social Media

Social media can be a powerful tool for engaging with residents and soliciting feedback. Cities can use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to share information, answer questions, and gather feedback from residents.  The City can also use public notification systems such as Nixle to help keep residents current with information that is important to know.

4. Engage Community Groups

We can engage with community groups such as neighborhood associations, business associations, and cultural organizations to gather feedback and input. These groups often have a deep understanding of the needs and concerns of their communities and can provide valuable insights into urban development issues.  The key to engagement is actually listening and allowing for constructive feedback.

5. Create Citizen Advisory Committees

We should be creating citizen advisory committees to provide input and feedback on urban development issues. These committees can be composed of residents, business owners, and other stakeholders and can provide valuable feedback on issues such as zoning, transportation, and public services.

Overall, listening to residents is an essential aspect of helping our city move forward. By holding public meetings, conducting surveys, using social media, engaging community groups, and creating citizen advisory committees, we have the ability to gather feedback and insights from residents and ensure that our growth efforts are responsive to the needs and desires of the community.