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Community Engagement Post Pandemic Lessons - Shared screen with speaker view
Alison LeFlore
1.0 AICP CM are available for this session! You should be able to add this session to your CM log within the next few days. Thanks again for joining us!
Ocean Luo
Like Lauren mentioned that I got the skype interview with BPDA and got the position, and moved in Boston from Canada before the pandemic. :)
Jeff Dietrich
I'll echo that, Lesly! So many flyers, water bill and school mailers, letters, and door-hangers on projects this year
Jennifer Rowe
We did a lot a lot of mailers at the Boston Transportation Department. Also fliers and corrugated plastic signs placed on streetlights etc.
Marc Ebuna [he/him] (RIPTA)
For in-person public meetings, how far along are folks in planning/integrating online meeting components so people who have now been able to participate remotely are able to continue to engage when meetings return to physical gatherings as required by local/state laws?
Tabitha Harkin
IS anyone using a community engagement platform like courbanized? Whats your response been?
Jennifer Rowe
I'd be curious if anyone has tips about how to make virtual meetings more like open houses/stations meetings and less like the traditional public meeting (e.g. a presentation by the planners and then comment period that can be intimidating to many and tends to give voice to the "usual suspects") . We've used breakout rooms, though that also can require a huge staffing presence. Curious if anyone has additional strategies or experiences to share!
Christian Brandt (MAPC, he/him)
Tabitha - at MAPC We've noticed that a lot of municipalities in the Greater Boston Area, at least, have been using those platforms. Lynn, for example, is using Bang the Table for their new planning engagement website (https://lynnincommon.com/). Revere is using Public Input (https://www.revere.org/engage).
Christian Brandt (MAPC, he/him)
In general, we're working to adopt an approach that includes those kinds of asynchronous/on demand approaches for projects at MAPC. Haven't figured out which platform is the best (there are truly so many options!)
Jeff Dietrich
Tabitha, we haven't used CoUrbanize specifically (to be candid, I've encountered some platform-bias among folks in the past, with how CoUrbanize market themselves as "controversy minimizers" for developments) - but we've had a great experience on other platforms, like Social Pinpoint on like DCR's Arborway corridor project https://hsh.mysocialpinpoint.com/arborway/map#/
Anne McKinnon
The Open Meeting Law does not apply to public meetings or advisory committee meetings, only meetings of public bodies.
Monica Gregoire
When deciding on a new engagement strategy, who was involved in the decision to approve changes?
Alison LeFlore
Jennifer - we've used a number of strategies and tools to make meetings feel more open house or "workshoppy" we've got a few different tools including a virtual whiteboard tool that's a lot of fun and online platforms (we've been mostly using SocialPinpoint). For some projects, we've even been able to create a virtual meeting room where people can actually "walk" up to the different posters and engage with staff or just read the poster (as if we were in a real open house).
Christian Brandt (MAPC, he/him)
+1 to breakout rooms. We've also used Jamboard (which is free! and collaborative). Poll Everywhere is also a useful tool that we have used
Anne McKinnon
A big frustration is not being able to see who is "in the Zoom room." It's critical for attendees to know who is attending.
Jennifer Rowe
I like that idea, Jeff! Thanks for sharing that
Lydia Hausle
Having been on both the participant and professional side of pandemic-era outreach I have also witnessed generally a larger volume of people participating in virtual events. I’m curious if anyone is measuring who is participating – are you hearing from both more people and people with a broader range of backgrounds, or more people, but generally of the same age/race/income/etc. background as the so called ‘usual suspects?’ I heard recently that while the volume of participation has increased, the breakout of participants by age and homeownership status has remained flat or actually gotten a bit less representative than the general population than pre-pandemic meetings.
Jennifer Rowe
@Alison thank you for those tips! I'm looking forward to checking out SocialPinpoint
Jennifer Rowe
agreed on the importance of having a separate facilitator and note-taker!
Christian Brandt (MAPC, he/him)
Lauren - MAPC's engagement team is actually working on that as we speak.
Roberta Cameron
A toolkit would be great - and I would love for it to include analog meeting and pop-up strategies as well
Jennifer Rowe
Another tool I'd lift up is mentimeter
Alison LeFlore
yes! mentimeter is fun!
Marc Ebuna [he/him] (RIPTA)
Yes! Please a toolkit and continuing the knowledge exchange would be great!Including notes and best practices for hybrid meetings would be instrumental in identifying hardware, connectivity requirements
Christian Brandt (MAPC, he/him)
I also just want to echo what Lesly said earlier about Breakout rooms! They're a really great tool that we have used regularly in public meetings. We try to make sure that each breakout has a facilitator *and* notetaker which of course adds to staffing requirements (and cost!)
Alison LeFlore
You can also use the chat to give us ideas for future sessions. We're thrilled to see such great participation in this inaugural event!
Lydia Hausle
I believe that the piece I heard and referenced above referenced this research if folks are interested: https://www.housingpolitics.com/research/online_meetings_participation.pdf
Alison LeFlore
Email us if you're interested in joining the APA-MA EDI Committee (alison.leflore@stantec.com and abigail.s.vladeck@state.ma.us)
Amanda Centrella
Would love any tips/input from folks navigating the use of interpreters/language accessibility in hybrid models of engagement!
Lydia Hausle
appreciate everyone's responses and the discussion
Neil Angus
Thanks for a great discussion and some great ideas and platforms!!
Janice Henderson
Thank you panelists and all, great session!
Jennifer Rowe
thanks, everyone! this was a helpful discussion!
Jeff Dietrich
👏 thank you all for convening this group and conversation, and for opening the space for us to chime in! So reassuring to see the common themes we're thinking through
Lesly Melendez
Happy to chat with folks lmelendez@groundworklawrence.org
Marc Ebuna [he/him] (RIPTA)