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Engagement in Challenging Times

July 22, 2020

In early June, Public Agenda began offering a series of digital engagement webinars to city agencies, non-profits, and partners working in public engagement in the time of COVID-19. Our goal was to support these organizations and their staff as much as we could by sharing our knowledge of digital tools for engagement. 

On June 26, we presented the webinar “Navigating Open Meetings Laws During COVID-19” in partnership with ICMA. The panel featured Lisa Blomgren Amsler, Keller-Runden Professor of Public Service, O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University and James Malloy, Town Manager of Lexington, Massachusetts. The webinar was moderated by Matt Leighninger, Vice President of Public Engagement and Director of the Yankelovich Center for Public Judgement. In addition to discussing updates to open meetings laws, both Amsler and Malloy spoke about changes to the ways Indiana and the Town of Lexington run town meetings and recapped how decision making has gone digital in an accessible and equitable way.

Then on July 9, the Public Engagement team at Public Agenda presented “Engagement During the Pandemic and Beyond” to the NYC Mayor’s Office of Resiliency, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and the Office of Climate Policies and Programs. The webinar covered advanced tools for digital engagement, such as Remesh, AllOurIdeas, and, and explored the different applications of asynchronous vs. synchronous engagement. 

We plan on presenting more webinars to partners and organizations throughout the summer and we will adapt to the needs of the field as needed. If you are interested in learning more about our public engagement work, please reach out to

Additional Resources:


“Engagement During the Pandemic and Beyond” webinar


“Navigating Open Meetings Laws During COVID-19” webinar