What is Community Engagement?
The City of Minneapolis defines the primary purpose of community engagement as the empowerment of people to influence City government decisions that shape their city and their lives. Of course, community building, outreach and education activities are also important to the City.
In 2002, the Mayor and City Council adopted a set of citywide goals and expectations (update in 2014) that articulate the City’s commitment to community engagement (see Reports related to Community Engagement 2002 – 2006).
In 2006, following a thorough study of best practices, Minneapolis begun to formalize its community engagement activities. A three-track work plan that addresses the multiple facets of the City’s community engagement system was approved by the City Council in May 2007.
The City of Minneapolis is well on its way to bring the City’s community engagement system into its next generation, including finding clear ways to support what is currently working and explore new ideas to enhance what’s being done.
Why is it important to engage the community?
Community engagement refers to the many ways in which the City connects with its residents and communities in the development and implementation of policies, programs, and services. It is the process of working collaboratively with the community to address issues affecting their lives.
Furthermore, Engagement acknowledges the right of residents to have a say and to get involved in the business of government. The City recognizes that the community is a valuable source of expertise to influence government decisions that improve the quality and delivery of public services.
What are the benefits of Community Engagement?
The City of Minneapolis is committed to engaging our community. We recognize that an engaged community offers:
- Greater diversity of views expressed
- Strong, sustainable outcomes
- Mutual learning among participants
- Previously unknown special needs may be addressed
- Improved relationship with community
- Mutual respect among stakeholders
Core Principles of Community Engagement
- Right to be involved – Public participation is based on the belief that those who are affected by a decision have a right to be involved in the decision-making process.
- Contribution will be thoughtfully considered - Public participation includes the promise that the public's contribution will be thoughtfully considered.
- Recognize the needs of all - Public participation promotes sustainable decisions by recognizing and communicating the needs and interests of all participants, including decision-makers.
- Seek out involvement - Public participation seeks out and facilitates the involvement of those potentially affected by or interested in a decision.
- Participants design participation - Public participation seeks input from participants in designing how they participate.
- Adequate information - Public participation provides participants with the information they need to participate in a meaningful way.
- Known effect of participation - Public participation communicates to participants how their input affected the decision.
Copyright IAP2. All rights reserved. Adopted by Minneapolis City Council, December 2007
How can I stay informed about Community Engagement?
Sign up to receive e-mail updates from the Neighborhood and Community Relations Department.
The City of Minneapolis invites and encourages participation by every resident to each program, service and event within our city. Should you require an accommodation in order for you to fully participate, or should you require this document in a different format, please let us know by contacting 612-673-3737.
Last updated Apr 10, 2014