News and Resources
Davenport Institute Awards Platinum Public Engagement to
City of San Luis Obispo
The Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership at Pepperdine University School of Public Policy is pleased to announce that the City of San Luis Obispo has earned Platinum Public Engagement, the Institute's highest engagement award. The City is being honored with the award because of its dedication to involving residents in local decision-making through the employment of advanced public engagement policies and techniques.
The Davenport Institute launched its "How Are WE Doing?" public engagement evaluation and award program last May in response to frequent requests from local leaders seeking to take a "30,000 foot view" of their government's public engagement practices. Through the Platinum Award, the Davenport Institute recognizes that the City of San Luis Obispo has scored highly on more than 17 of the 20 criteria listed on the Institute's Public Engagement Evaluation Platform, creating an environment amongst the City staff that promotes ongoing resident engagement.
In its application, San Luis Obispo demonstrated specific ways that it has created a culture of public engagement within City administration. It has formally prioritized public engagement in key staff job descriptions for the Administration Department, the Community Development Department, and for all city planners.The City has also created responsibility and accountability for engagement beyond formal job descriptions through its Public Engagement and Noticing (PEN) manual. PEN serves to create a shared vision of engagement across departments and offers direction for broadening public outreach on various projects and policy initiatives throughout the City.
The City has adopted best practices and creative techniques for engaging the public beyond city council meetings and public hearings and has prioritized public outreach beyond the "usual suspects" to include a diverse cross-section of the population. These include an active array of citizen advisory bodies and task forces, a willingness engage residents outside of city hall, and a commitment to both transparency and engagement online. Read more here.
August 31, 2017: Professor Joel Fox wrote an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times titled "California's Supreme Court is wrong: Voters want to make it hard — not easy — to raise taxes" on changes in imposing local taxes.
June 27, 2017: Executive Director Ashley Trim authored "An Appeal to Democratic Reformers: Welcome Uncomfortable Speech, Political Pluralism, and Real Disagreement" on Healthy Democracy News where she discussed democratic innovation and deliberation.
June 27, 2017: Executive Director Ashley Trim was interviewed in PC Mag's "This Malibu Retreat Preps Cities for a Tech-Savvy Electorate" on the Davenport Institute's recent work in technology and engagement.
April 21,2017: Assistant Dean Carson Bruno authored "Sacramento Kicks the California Can to Future Generations" on Real Clear Markets where he discussed Sacramento's missed opportunity to reform state water & transport infrastructure.
April 12, 2017: Executive Director Ashley Trim co-authored "A Manageable Improvement to the State Initiative Process?" on Fox & Hound along with Brian Stewart, Pepperdine School of Public Policy, MPP '17. In this article, Trim and Stewart explored how the Citizens' Initiative Review can help make the California initiative process more transparent.
March 27, 2017: Executive Director Ashley Trim authored "Making Direct Democracy Truly Democratic" on People 2 Power where she discussed the process and results from a Citizens' Initiative Review (CIR) demonstration put on by Healthy Democracy and hosted by the Davenport Institute. During this demonstration, a small student panel of demographically-balanced voters was brought together from across the state to hear from advocates and experts and deliberate together to evaluate a ballot measure.
November 16, 2016: Senior Fellow Pete Peterson authored the Foreward to Mary Gelinas' Talk Matters!: Saving the World One Word at a Time (FriesenPress, September 2016). Through discussing the latest in brain science research, Gelinas outlines how better designed public meetings can produce more informed citizens and better public policy, while also looking at how poorly designed public processes actually create more conflict.
August 22, 2016: Sr. Fellow Rod Gould authored "A Scorecard for Public Engagement" on Governing.com where he explored how the Davenport Institute Public Engagement Platform is helping local governments evaluate their public engagement efforts and be recognized for the good work that they do.
August 2, 2016: Sr. Fellow Pete Peterson spoke on a panel on civic engagement at the "American Citizens Summit" - a free online event featuring respected political leaders, grassroots visionaries, business pioneers, change agents, and advocates who are leading the way to actualize the full power of democracy by building bridges across divides.For more information, please visit americancitizenssummit.com. You can hear Pete's panel here. This recording is a copyright of The Shift Network. All rights reserved.
July 27, 2016: Sr. Fellow Rod Gould authored "Public Engagement: How is your Agency Doing" on Public CEO where he explored what a "Platinum" level public engaged city looks like.
July 1, 2016: Sr. Fellow Pete Peterson authored "The Greatest Public Leadership Transition in American History" in Real Clear Policy discussing the topic of the "Silver Tsunami", where more than half of senior-level managers in the public sector are due to retire from local and state governments across the country to the federal government.
May 13, 2016: Pete Peterson provided a testimony titled "CA Assembly Committee on Civic Engagement" in downtown Los Angeles, speaking on local and neighborhood engagement efforts.
March 21, 2016: Executive Director Ashley Trim published "Public Engagement: A Vital Leadership Skill" in the peer-reviewed eJournal of Public Affairs through Missouri State where she looked at how schools of public policy and public administration should be preparing leaders in public engagement.
September 24, 2015: Pete Peterson authored "DMV: Department of Motor . . . Voting?" in Fox and Hounds where he looks at how unprepared the California DMV is to take
on the responsibilities imposed by AB 1461.
June 28, 2015: Pete Peterson authored "Bold Innovation Offers Hope for Government" in the Orange County Register where he looked at the importance of innovative public leaders in the 21st Century.
February 3, 2015: Pete Peterson authored "A Party for Citizens and Customers" in Fox and Hounds where he discusses the dual role of residents in relation to government, and why we need a new politics that seeks to address and collaborate with residents in both of these roles.
January 11, 2015: Pete Peterson authored "A Statue Called 'California' Offers a Metaphor for its Namesake" in the Sacramento Bee in which he explores the chasm between policymakers and politicians on California's fiscal future.
October 15, 2014: Pete Peterson coauthored an op-ed with Fred Smoller in the Sacramento Bee, "Expand Voting by Mail and Make it Easier, but Don't Ditch Polling Places" in which they discussed the increase in voting-by-mail and its implications for politics in California.
October 9, 2014: Pete Peterson wrote "Millenial Civic Engagement: Know the Challenges" featured by California Fwd, in which he explores the challenges facing Millenial civic engagement and ways the State of California can address these challenges through technological, transparency, and education innovations.
September 26 2014: Pete Peterson coauthored an op-ed with Fred Smoller in the Sacramento Bee, "Confronting Crisis in Civic Education" in which they discussed the importance of including local government and community politics in K-12 Civic Learning.
June 29, 2014: Ashley Trim authored "Who Stole My Polling Place?" in Zocalo Public Square in which she shares how her rural Los Angeles County precinct became vote-by-mail only in the June primary and what effect that may have on low voter turnout and other voting issues.
June 23, 2014: Pete Peterson authored an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, "Why Californians Don't Vote," wherein he discussed the low voter turnout in California's June 3 primary and references a study conducted by the Davenport Institute and the National Conference on Citizenship on reasons Californians say they don't vote.
April 25, 2014: Pete Peterson coauthored an article with Kevin Klowden in City Journal, "Democrats v. Unions?" where they discuss what could become a central issue in California politics: the fracturing of the coalition between Democrats and their public-employee union allies.
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.
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.