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In what has been our most competitive year for the Public Engagement Grant Program, the Davenport Institute is excited to announce the 2013 grantees:

1. City of Placentia: This city of 50,000+ is looking to convene a series of budget workshops to engage residents around some tough decisions.
2. City of Brea: This Orange County city is involving its residents in some significant planning decisions.
3. City of Riverside: This city of 300,000+ is undertaking a city-wide community building program, looking to involve residents more directly in service delivery.
4. City of Salinas: This Central Coast city will be involving their residents in a public budgeting process, facilitated by the Center for Priority-Based Budgeting.
Thanks to the nearly 40 municipalities and civic organizations that applied this year, and the many more who called with questions. We look forward to hearing from you in 2014, and working with this year's grantees asap!

This year's program is again made possible, in part, by support from the James Irvine Foundation's California Democracy Program

Davenport Discussion Podcasts

September 20, 2012: Troy Senik (MPP '07), Senior Fellow at the Center for Individual Freedom, editor at Ricochet, and former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, sat down with Pete Peterson on the occasion of his Davenport Discussion to talk about his recent article published in City Journal, "The Worst Union in America: How the California Teachers Association Betrayed the Schools and Crippled the State." You can hear the podcast here.

March 13, 2012: Ken Hampian, interim city manager for the troubled city of Bell, Calif., spoke with Pete Peterson, director of the Pepperdine University Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership, about rebuilding trustworthy leadership and civic trust and engagement in Bell.  You can hear the podcast here

February 8, 2012: William Voegeli, a visiting scholar at Claremont McKenna College's Henry Salvatory Center, sat down with Pete Peterson to discuss his essay, "Not a Penny More," in defense of what he calls "antitax absolutism" published in the winter 2012 issue of City Journal. You can hear the podcast here

November 17, 2011: Steve Malanga is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and the senior editor of City Journal.  He sat down with Pete Peterson, director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership at the School of Public Policy, to discuss the causes of, and solutions for, California's declining job market.  You can hear the podcast here

March 30, 2011: Kay S. Hymowitz is the William E. Simon Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. She sat down with Pete Peterson, the executive director of the Davenport Institute at the School of Public Policy, to discuss her provocative new commentary on gender in 21st Century America Manning Up: How the Rise of Women is Turning Men Into Boys. You can hear the podcast here

Op-Eds/Essays

January 29, 2014: Pete Peterson authored "California's 20th Century 'Voting Experience'" on the Hoover Institution's "Eureka" blog.  The essay looks at how to improve voting processes and technology in California.  

January 16, 2014: Pete Peterson authored "From Luisville to Baltimore: US citizens are helping to run their cities" in The Guardian where he looks at how local governments are using technology to engage the public on challenging and important decisions. 

January 8, 2014: Ashley Trim authored "Government Bureaucracy's Fear of Failure Doomed HealthCare.Gov" on Zocalo Public Square where she discusses the issues with the failure of HealthCare.gov and how California citizens and governments can learn from them in the culture of a digital age.

September 11, 2013: Pete Peterson authored "Did Democracy Bankrupt Our Cities?" on Zocalo Public Square where he argues that self-government at the local level is in need of a tune-up. 

June 10, 2013: Pete Peterson authored "The Trust Issue: The Problem with Government Isn't Its Size" on Pacific Standard where he argues that conservatives, as defenders of institutions, are in a unique position to deal with mistrust of government, but that it requires a shift in focus. 

May 15, 2013: Pete Peterson authored "Internet Republic" in CityJournal, a review of Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom's new book "Citizenville."

January 25, 2013: Pete Peterson authored "In a Way, Judges Rule on Partisanship at SoS" on Fox & Hounds Daily wherein he discusses the recent ruling of the 3rd Circuit Cout on the Constitutionality of AB 1499.

December 7, 2012: Pete Peterson wrote "Controller Chiang's Public Pay Site: A First Step Towards Transparency" for Fox & Hounds Daily on the state controller's launch of a revised public sector pay website  

December 5, 2012: Ashley Trim authored the piece "Smart Meters vs. Social Capital" for City Journal California about the loss of community due to the latest in parking technology.

November 30, 2012: Pete Peterson authored "If You Engage Them, Will They Come?" on Zocalo Public Square, where he looks at the challenges of bringing people to the table and lays out seven rules for successful engagement.

November 3, 2012: Pete Peterson wrote "Jerry Brown Meets the Voter of the Future" published in the Hoover Institute's Eureka blog in which he discusses why the 30-second television advertising is not able to reach 21st century voters.

September 20, 2012: Pete Peterson wrote "Palo Alto's 'Open Budget': What Transparency Looks Like - Part II" published in Fox & Hounds which takes another look at Palo Alto's open data platform, and how their new budget platform is changing the context of engagement in budget decisions. 

August 28, 2012: Pete Peterson wrote "Greetings from Portland . . . Wishin' We Were Here" published in Fox & Hounds in which he describes his experiences observing the Oregon Citizen's Initiative Review process.

August 6, 2012: Ashley Trim wrote "Big Society: Can the Britons 'Build That?'" published at Front Porch Republic on how residents of the UK are responding to cuts in government services by filling the gaps and why some politicians and pundits are less than enthusiastic. 

August 3, 2012: Pete Peterson authored "California State Parks and 'Unbuilding' the Golden State" on the Hoover Institution's "Eureka Forum" blog regarding cutting back state and local government services and the response of philanthropy and civil socity to maintaining service levels.

August 3, 2012: Pete Peterson wrote "Palo Alto's Open Data Platform: What Transparency Looks Like?" published in Fox & Hounds where he discusses what the new platform means for the changing relationship between citizens and their governing institutions. 

July 12, 2012: Pete Peterson authored "SoS: A Chance at Reform?" published in Fox & Hounds.  Peterson highlights the recent ballot numbering crisis and how the Secretary of State might lead the way to reforming the system. 

May 22, 2012: Pete Peterson wrote "How 'Public' Is the Public Sector?" published in New Geography wherein he discusses how the word "public" is often used as a synonym for "government" and why this is a problem for a vibrant understanding of civic engagement.

May 4, 2012: Pete Peterson wrote "Immersion Education for Parents," wherein he discusses how a local union is attempting to unionize minimally compensated, hard-working volunteers and classroom adjuncts who are funded by the local community and parents at a language immersion school in Culver City, California.

April 2012: Pete Peterson wrote "Public Engagement: The Vital Leadership Skill," published in the March/April issue of California Special Districts Magazine.  The article, which shares a title with the Davenport Institute's public engagement training seminar looks at the changes that are taking place in local governance when it comes to citizen involvement. You can access the article online here, starting on page 18.

April 14, 2012: Ashley Trim authored the op-ed "Building Community Is Everyone's Responsibility" published in the Ventura County Star.  She discusses the role of residents in answering fundamental questions about what our cities are and how they will be affected by cuts to services. 

March 7, 2012: Pete Peterson wrote "Creative Californians Redefine Rahm's 'Rule One'" published in The American.  He discusses how municipalities across the state are asking their residents to assume greater responsibilities, not only in decision making, but also in service provision. 


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