Metro strives to bring many voices to the decision-making table, because many voices mean better decisions. However, Metro has sometimes struggled to meaningfully engage the full diversity of the region. Metro is collaborating with community partners to create an innovative approach to meaningfully engage more people in decisions that impact their lives.
The Oregon Innovation Award
In April 2015, Metro and 1000 Friends of Oregon received the Portland State University Center for Public Service’s inaugural Oregon Innovation Award for a proposal to create an innovative model for inclusive public engagement. The award provides 1,000 hours of consultation and facilitation from the center's faculty and staff, as well as a Hatfield Fellow who will support the work through December 31, 2015.
What will the innovation look like?
Metro is partnering with the Center for Public Service, 1000 Friends of Oregon and a network of community leaders to design a model for inclusive public engagement for use by Metro and other public agencies around the state. The approach aims to more effectively engage underrepresented communities in Metro's decision-making process by building collaborative, mutually beneficial relationships that generate trust.
Some key components of the model will include:
- a mechanism for assessing the type and level of engagement sought by community based organizations
- a method for identifying the best indicators to measure the agency’s progress in engaging underrepresented communities
- a strategy for educating community members and organizations on the agency's decision-making process that respects community traditions and helps foster trusted relationships
Metro is traveling around the region to listen to community members and local partners and inform the innovation. We will keep this site updated as our work continues to evolve and take shape.