Contact: Matt Laible, Communications Department, (612) 673-2786

City Council and Mayor approve principles to guide how the City engages the community

Dec. 7, 2007 (MINNEAPOLIS) The Minneapolis City Council and Mayor R.T. Rybak today unanimously approved a set of seven core principles that will guide efforts to improve how the City engages the community. These principles are the shared beliefs of the Mayor and Council on how the City should engage the community, and how the community can participate in the City’s decision-making process. They will serve as a guide for all future Minneapolis community engagement efforts.

"Minneapolis takes seriously our commitment to support our residents and neighborhood organizations to work with us to build a stronger, more vibrant city," Mayor R.T. Rybak said. "These principles we approve today help bring us closer to that vision."

"These principles, which emerged from the Community Engagement Task Force work, are really a reflection of our values in Minneapolis," said City Council Vice President Robert Lilligren, who was co-chair of the City’s Community Engagement Task Force. "I believe these principles are widely shared by people in our communities, and by us as City leaders, and that gives us a solid foundation as we shape the future of community engagement in this city."

The core principles are:

1. Right to be involved - Public participation is based on the belief that those who are affected by a decision have a right to be involved in the decision-making process.

2. Contribution will be thoughtfully considered - Public participation includes the promise that the public's contribution will be thoughtfully considered.

3. Recognize the needs of all - Public participation promotes sustainable decisions by recognizing and communicating the needs and interests of all participants, including decision-makers.

4. Seek out involvement - Public participation seeks out and facilitates the involvement of those potentially affected by or interested in a decision.

5. Participants design participation - Public participation seeks input from participants in designing how they participate.

6. Adequate information - Public participation provides participants with the information they need to participate in a meaningful way.

7. Known effect of participation - Public participation communicates to participants how their input affected the decision.

The principles are one of the products of work done by the Community Engagement Task Force this past summer. The task force presented its initial recommendations to the City Council in September. In the weeks that followed, a series of community forums let residents and the public share their thoughts about the engagement process. That feedback was then incorporated into a final report for Council Members to consider. 

A full copy of the Community Engagement Task Force report is on the Citys website at Community Engagement .

Also today, the Mayor and City Council authorized funding for Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) Phase II Neighborhood Action Plans at no less than 70 percent of the allocations approved in 2004.

In advance of the 2009 sunsetting of legislation that establishes funding for the NRP, the Mayor and City Council created a six-person NRP Work Group. The work group is made up of City Council Members Barbara Johnson, Robert Lilligren, Paul Ostrow and Betsy Hodges; NRP Director Bob Miller; and Cara Letofsky, Mayoral representative.

At the Dec. 20 City Council Committee of the Whole meeting, the Work Group will bring forward a proposed framework for the future of the NRP and the City’s community engagement system. In January there will be opportunities for the community to offer input on the options before they go to the City Council.

The group’s charge is to frame options for:

1. A proposed administrative structure to support community engagement activities;

2. Expectations of services community or neighborhood organizations would provide through citizen participation contracts; and

3. Extending or not a formal program of using discretionary funds for community-initiated projects.

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Minneapolis, MN 55415

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Published Dec. 7, 2007