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Episode 6: Community Pillar

Building healthy, equitable communities through community-driven solutions

Good Governance
Healthy Neighborhoods

How can communities ensure that their voice is heard in public decisionmaking processes? And how can local governments guarantee that community priorities are reflected in local policies?

Episode 6 explores how collaborating with communities and building community power can strengthen law and policy solutions that support a just, vital, and thriving community. You can read our blog post about effective strategies that local governments can use to promote community engagement and public participation in four key government functions or watch an all-in-one webinar and interactive panel in which we discuss ways to ensure that community voices are heard in public decisionmaking processes.

Blog Post

Local governments have a responsibility to engage their community members in a robust and equitable manner in order to effectively carry out the key functions of government, such as crafting and implementing laws, budgets, plans, directives, and strategic visions. However, government practices often fall short of this ideal, even though many governments take an active interest in improving their approaches. ChangeLab Solutions’ senior planner Tina Yuen, legal fellow Katie Hannon Michel, and policy analyst Cesar De La Vega highlight 4 core functions of local government, examining how current “business as usual” efforts to engage the community can reinforce inequitable outcomes. They also offer promising strategies that advance more substantial and inclusive community engagement and participation.

Read our blog post: Inclusive Community Engagement & Equitable Participation to Improve 4 Core Functions of Local Government

Webinar & Expert Panel

How can local governments promote public participation and community engagement in law and policy changes? In this combined webinar and interactive panel, we explored the complex yet essential process of ensuring that diverse community voices are heard in public decisionmaking processes. Specifically, we discussed how civic engagement impacts health and equity; people-centered approaches to developing equitable laws and policies; and real-world examples of successful local government–community partnership and engagement.

This webinar features two exciting guest speakers: Xavier Morales of The Praxis Project discusses his work on advancing health justice through collaborations with grassroots partners. Chris Chittum of Roanoke, Virginia’s Department of Planning, Building, and Development shares his experience with citizen engagement in the context of urban design and comprehensive planning.

The presentation concludes with an interactive panel in which Tina, Xavier, and Chris answer questions on community-driven solutions from the perspective of both the communities being engaged and local government.

Watch our webinar and interactive panel or download the slides: Building Healthy, Equitable Communities Through Community-Driven Solutions

Episode 6 is the final episode of our Building Healthy, Equitable Communities Series! Given that inclusive and equitable civic engagement is necessary for law and policy innovations that promote health equity, this episode is the keystone of our training series. To learn more about other elements of a healthy, equitable community, check out the rest of the episodes in our series.