How can Metro engage a diversity of people from throughout the region, be accountable for how public input affects council decisions, effectively evaluate outreach activities and build public trust? That's what the new Public Engagement Review Committee wants to help Metro figure out.
The committee met for the first time Thursday night to share ideas for how they can use their experience and knowledge to provide guidance on Metro's public engagement practices.
"Government is only as good as the input it gets from the community," said Metro Councilor Carlotta Collette in her welcome to the committee. "We are grateful to have you here to evaluate how we are doing and what we can do better."
The committee brings a wealth of public engagement experience to the table, both professionally and personally. As members discussed their vision for how they could work together and with Metro, the passion and energy was abundant.
"We can help Metro find ways to really listen to the communities they engage," said committee member Tara Sulzen. "Feedback from public outreach activities can help the Metro Council make informed decisions."
Citizen representative Greg Greenway agreed. "We can help Metro show communities how they fit into the Council's decision-making process," he said.
Made up of a mix of at-large members of the public, community organizations and public involvement staff from Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties, the committee will review and provide input on several activities including, updating Metro's agency-wide public engagement policy, an Opt In public engagement review survey and a community summit slated for this fall.
The Public Engagement Review Committee is part of a multi-track strategy to ensure that Metro’s public involvement is effective, reaches diverse audiences and harnesses emerging best practices. In addition to the committee, Metro has convened a public involvement peer group which will meet for the second time in February.