Many voices, better choices
Metro plans for a geographically and demographically diverse region – a region that grows more diverse every year.
Metro is committed to bringing a diversity of voices to the decision making table to inspire inclusive and innovative solutions to the challenges of a changing region.
Office of Public Engagement
To supplement public engagement activities happening at the project and program level, the Office of Public Engagement was created by the Metro Council.
The office supports and builds capacity for programs that create more inclusive, transparent and relationship-based public engagement practices. The office serves as a resource for current best practices for public involvement, supports the Diversity Action Plan and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program, and develops strategies to engage youth and underrepresented communities in regional decision making. The office also arranges an annual community summit, conducts surveys and reports on Metro’s public engagement activities.
The office is advised by a Public Engagement Review Committee, a peer group made up of public involvement professionals.
Public Engagement Review Committee
The Public Engagement Review Committee serves as a key component of Metro’s efforts to develop successful public engagement processes. The committee includes at least three at-large community members, three staff or board members from local community organizations and public involvement staff members from Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties.
Committee activities include:
- assisting with the development and the implementation of the community summit
- reviewing the annual public engagement report
- providing input on the content of the annual Opt In public engagement review survey
- reviewing public engagement activities at the project and program level
- making recommendations to the Metro Council about engagement priorities
Learn more about the committee
Public Engagement Network
The public engagement network brings together public involvement staff and professionals from the Portland metropolitan area to pool knowledge by sharing best practices, emerging tools and case studies. Metro convenes two to three network meetings a year.
Goals for the peer group include:
- share and learn about best practices and new tools for public engagement
- find strategies to facilitate collaboration and leverage individual jurisdiction outreach efforts
- discuss evaluation methods to explore the qualitative and quantitative outcomes of engagement
Metro’s annual community summit is intended to bring stakeholders representing diverse communities together to evaluate Metro’s public engagement activities from the previous year, share community priorities and give advice on engagement strategies for upcoming policy initiatives. The summit uses innovative engagement approaches to meet people where they are.
For the initial community summit, the Office of Citizen Engagement partnered with Metro’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program in June 2015 to hold a series of discussion groups with underrepresented communities, youth and leaders in housing, parks/nature and transportation fields.
Public engagement survey and annual report
The success of Metro’s public engagement depends on consistently effective and efficient communication with the public. To help us understand how community members prefer to engage with us, and how aware they are of our projects and programs, an annual survey is sent to an online panel.
The feedback helps Metro create a public engagement report that summarizes project evaluations, objectives, levels of involvement, methods and outcomes.
Growing public trust
Metro is partnering with the Center for Public Service at Portland State University, 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.
By planning our engagement with communities historically underrepresented in the decision-making process, both the community and Metro realize immediate and long-term benefits from growing levels of public trust.
Young voices, future choices
Young people make up a third of the population in the region, and they will be the stewards of the future. To help fulfill their potential as future leaders, Metro is working with an Oregon Hatfield Fellow and youth and community partners to develop a strategy for youth engagement.
The outcome will be a scalable strategy focused on three target areas:
- Provide young people with meaningful opportunities to shape their place in the region.
- Build trust through mutually beneficial partnerships with agency partners and community organizations that build pathways to regional decision making through leadership development.
- Develop best practices for engaging with youth and evaluating success.