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2015 October

Seizing the Power of Public Participation

By Richard A. Marcantonio & Samuel P. Tepperman-Gelfant

Public engagement at the local level can yield real change—but only if local residents come together in a meaningful way to influence agency decision making. Community lawyers worked with two coalitions in the San Francisco Bay area to leverage local agencies’ public-participation requirements in such a way that the coalitions built community power and secured tangible wins. Those coalitions developed a shared policy agenda, tackled the structure of the public-participation process itself, and integrated “inside” and “outside” strategies.

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