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City of Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria, VA
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Nathan Macek (user 383) - Comments by Date

I've had a chance to review the draft Civic Engagement Handbook and think it does a great job of capturing the What's Next discussions and documenting a flexible framework for future public participation efforts.

I have several specific comments that I wanted to provide for your consideration as you finalize the draft:

In the Principles of Engagement section, pages 8-16, the Actions checklists are very focused on the process for a a given project or single utilization of the framework, but many of the Outcomes seems more focused on the City's civic engagement efforts in general. For example, on page 13, one outcome is "increased trust in city government," an outcome that will require several public outreach efforts using this framework assess. There are a few different ways to address this. One option is to remove the check-boxes from the Outcomes lists. Another is to try to reword Outcomes to make particular to a single effort utilizing the framework rather than the engagement process in general. Another is to separate the effort-specific outcomes with the overall process outcomes using sub-headers.

Page 17: I would suggest flipping the Framework for Engagement graphic so that the flow chart moves naturally from left to right. It's counter-intuitive to our usual reading patterns as it¹s currently oriented.

Page 19: The Tour of the Framework on page 19 is very difficult to read. I suggest showing across two pages to provide more space, so that the annotations can be printed next to, rather than on top of, the framework text.

Page 29: I suggest adding a sentence to the Meeting Venue paragraph on choosing a building and meeting room that is accessible to persons with disabilities. This, of course, is a legal requirement, but is worth reiterating here along with the other venue considerations listed.

Page 32: Consider saying "advance the discussion" or "move the issue forward" instead of "move the ball forward."

Page 40: No other commercial products are mentioned on this page, so consider removing the specific reference to Textizen here.

Page 44: The clip art here (and the smaller version on the preceding page) connotes confrontation rather than communication. Consider using a figure of speaking persons instead.

Page 51: Might add bullet here noting that there is a hesitancy to participate in civic engagement by residents who are not U.S. citizens and are therefore not eligible to vote here, but engagement by non-citizen residents should be encouraged nonetheless.

Page A-7: Suggesting making the organization names hyperlinks that can be directly clicked on in the PDF version of the guide.

Thanks for your efforts and I look forward to applying this framework for future planning efforts.

Nathan Macek (383) | User | October 10, 2013 - 3:50 PM | Civic Engagement Handbook Comment Board

Nathan Macek (user 383) - Comments by Board

Civic Engagement Handbook Comment Board

I've had a chance to review the draft Civic Engagement Handbook and think it does a great job of capturing the What's Next discussions and documenting a flexible framework for future public participation efforts.

I have several specific comments that I wanted to provide for your consideration as you finalize the draft:

In the Principles of Engagement section, pages 8-16, the Actions checklists are very focused on the process for a a given project or single utilization of the framework, but many of the Outcomes seems more focused on the City's civic engagement efforts in general. For example, on page 13, one outcome is "increased trust in city government," an outcome that will require several public outreach efforts using this framework assess. There are a few different ways to address this. One option is to remove the check-boxes from the Outcomes lists. Another is to try to reword Outcomes to make particular to a single effort utilizing the framework rather than the engagement process in general. Another is to separate the effort-specific outcomes with the overall process outcomes using sub-headers.

Page 17: I would suggest flipping the Framework for Engagement graphic so that the flow chart moves naturally from left to right. It's counter-intuitive to our usual reading patterns as it¹s currently oriented.

Page 19: The Tour of the Framework on page 19 is very difficult to read. I suggest showing across two pages to provide more space, so that the annotations can be printed next to, rather than on top of, the framework text.

Page 29: I suggest adding a sentence to the Meeting Venue paragraph on choosing a building and meeting room that is accessible to persons with disabilities. This, of course, is a legal requirement, but is worth reiterating here along with the other venue considerations listed.

Page 32: Consider saying "advance the discussion" or "move the issue forward" instead of "move the ball forward."

Page 40: No other commercial products are mentioned on this page, so consider removing the specific reference to Textizen here.

Page 44: The clip art here (and the smaller version on the preceding page) connotes confrontation rather than communication. Consider using a figure of speaking persons instead.

Page 51: Might add bullet here noting that there is a hesitancy to participate in civic engagement by residents who are not U.S. citizens and are therefore not eligible to vote here, but engagement by non-citizen residents should be encouraged nonetheless.

Page A-7: Suggesting making the organization names hyperlinks that can be directly clicked on in the PDF version of the guide.

Thanks for your efforts and I look forward to applying this framework for future planning efforts.

Nathan Macek (383) | User | October 10, 2013 - 3:50 PM