In 2019 City Council committed continue trying new approaches to engage community members who do not typically participate in council matters and meetings.
Purpose of Chats and Walks:
To give community members who do not typically participate in more formal council settings a convenient, drop-in opportunity to engage with their elected officials. These engagement opportunities are designed to promote short, two-way conversations about issues that matter most to residents and others in the city. The idea originated from council members, who are often as frustrated as community members by the lack of time to have meaningful conversations during open comment or public hearings.
What to Expect:
There will be one to three council members at each session, with no formal agenda or presentation. Community members are welcome to come by anytime during sessions and stay for as long -- or as short -- as they wish.
If everyone participating wants to discuss one topic, the conversations can be more in-depth. If there are a variety of topics participants wish to discuss, it will be important to make space for those. If there is a large crowd, the city will ask community members to rotate through to allow for maximum participation. Council members could also decide to break into smaller groups if crowd size is an issue.
If a group wishes to utilize chats and walks as an opportunity to share a collective perspective, the city asks they designate one or two members to attend, with a promise to report back to the larger group.
The city is happy to provide an interpreter for anyone who wishes to attend and participate in a language other than English. In order to allow time to book this resource, please email Taylor Reimann no later than three days before the event.