Making Local Democracy Work: Municipal Officials' Views About Public Engagement

PublicDecisions Practical Insights Webinar Series

Thursday, 7 October 2010, 14:00 Eastern (New York) / 18:00 GMT (60 minutes)
Free. A Circle Club members-only event.*

In mid-2009, the National League of Cities conducted a survey of municipal officials, both elected and managerial, to find out more about their views, attitudes, and local practices in public engagement. The results are detailed in the report, Making Local Democracy Work: Municipal Officials' Views About Public Engagement.

The survey yielded a wealth of information about the ways city officials understand and approach public engagement.

Join authors and NLC staff members William Barnes and Bonnie Mann to hear more about this exciting project, insights drawn from the work, and questions for further research. Beth Offenbacker of PublicDecisions will moderate the discussion.

Practical Insights is an occasional PublicDecisions series that showcases new research with practical implications for stakeholder engagement.

About our presenters

Bill Barnes is Director for Emerging Issues at NLC. He earned a B.A. from Oberlin College and a Ph.D. from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.

He was elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration in 2005 and received the 2010 Donald Stone Award for contributions to the field of intergovernmental management from the American Society for Public Administration.

Bill co-authored, with Larry C. Ledebur, The New Regional Economies: the U.S. Common Market and the Global Economy (Sage, 1998). In May 2005, the Urban Affairs Review published his "Beyond Federal Urban Policy," as its 40th Anniversary Featured Essay. Another essay, "Governing Cities in the Coming Decade: the Democratic and Regional Disconnects," will appear in the December 2010 special issue of Public Administration Review.

He is a member of the MacArthur Foundation's Research Network on Building Resilient Regions, the Executive Council of the Urban Politics Section of the American Political Science Association, and the Editorial Board of Economic Development Quarterly .

Bonnie Mann has spent much of her career in non-profit and community-based organizations, where she provided program management and technical assistance and directed daily operations.

Ms. Mann is currently the Project Manager for the Democratic Governance in NLC's Center for Research and Innovation. Her work includes assisting city officials in promoting and encouraging local actions to improve local democracy by engaging more effectively with citizens to respond to their communities' challenges and opportunities.

In an earlier position at NLC, Ms. Mann was Project Manager for the Affordable Housing Program, where she worked to build capacities of local officials in affordable housing strategies for their communities through multi-faceted educational venues that included technical assistance, workshops, and newsprint, websites and publications.

About The National League Of Cities

The National League of Cities is the nation's oldest and largest organization devoted to strengthening and promoting cities as centers of opportunity, leadership and governance. NLC is a resource and advocate for more 1,600 member cities and the 49 state municipal leagues, representing 19,000 cities and towns and more than 218 million Americans.

Through its Center for Research and Innovation, NLC provides:

  • research and analysis on key topics and trends important to cities
  • creative solutions to improve the quality of life in communities
  • inspiration and ideas for local officials to use in tackling tough issues
  • opportunities for city leaders to connect with peers, share experiences and learn about innovative approaches.


To return to the Schedule without registering for this class, use your browser's Back button or click here.

*By registering for this event, you agree to become a member of the Circle Club (if you aren't already). Members receive occasional emails informing them of PublicDecisions events and discounts on selected events and other opportunities. Membership is free; there's never an obligation to purchase anything, and you may cancel at any time. Read our privacy policy here.