Public Engagement

At Public Agenda, we believe that people have the power to shape their communities in ways that are equitable and inclusive. Engagement helps people make public decisions, solve public problems, and build community, all of which are important and essential for healthy communities and democracies. 

When people have a meaningful say in public decisions that affect their lives, they enjoy stronger public trust and support. When people work together to solve public problems, their efforts and collaborations improve their communities. When people are connected with others in their communities, they build stronger social networks and are more likely to be healthy, informed, economically secure, and resilient in the face of crises.

Engagement helps build trust, advance justice and equity, and improve quality of life. At Public Agenda, we:
  • Listen to and collaborate with the public, so that their ideas include a diverse range of stakeholders and are action-oriented
  • Make engagement equitable and inclusive by encouraging strategies that are welcoming to communities of color, people with disabilities, English language learners, and people who have been marginalized or discriminated against
  • Conduct meaningful outreach and organizing that figures out how to bring people to the table, bring the table to them, or take advantage of existing tables
  • Create unique engagement strategies that assess needs, identify challenges, and combine digital, face-to-face, and blended forms of interaction through an equity and accessibility lens
  • Make engagement fun by integrating games, food, music, and other factors that make engagement an enjoyable and regular part of community life
  • Measure the impact of engagement to help communities build and improve sustainable, measurable solutions 
Public Agenda helps communities build sustainable solutions.

Examples of Our Work

Community Voices for Health

Building a stronger engagement infrastructure for health equity to involve a broader range of people in six states.

Cycles of Engagement: Environmental Resilience

Bringing residents, scientists and local government together to empower community-led action in response to climate change.

Learning from a Neighborhood in the Bronx

Exploring the ways that community members in the Norwood neighborhood of the Bronx mobilize around shared issues and concerns, as well as the structures and supports that catalyze engagement.

Keeping Communities Connected: Economic Development

Working with community-based development organizations to provide technical assistance and strategic guidance.

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