Introduction

In partnership with more than 300 community members, the City of Boulder has embraced a vision for productive and inclusive civic conversations. ‚ÄčThis vision supports physical and emotional safety for everyone, as well as promoting democracy for people of all ages, identities, lived experiences, and political perspectives. The City of Boulder will take steps to uphold this vision as we gather together in civic dialogue and to conduct city business.

Vision

  • Dialogue. Speaking and listening to understand.
  • Disagreement. Developing the ability for risk taking and to tolerate discomfort by engaging in disagreement.
  • Personal accountability. Reflecting on our own perspectives and biases and taking responsibility for what you say regardless of intention.
  • Power. Lessen power imbalances to promote inclusive participation.
  • Co-creation. Share ownership and influence the process and outcome.
  • Inclusive. Be intentional to gather diverse voices. Remember that everyone may have multiple identities that inform interests in unique ways. Ask who else needs to be in this conversation. Frequently consider under-represented groups such as young people, people of color, social class differences (including renters vs. property owners), different ways of thinking (cognitive diversity), and a broad political spectrum.
  • Receptive and responsive. Prioritize community ideas and seek public input early in the decision-making process. Provide feedback and follow-up. Help community members understand how decisions are made, especially how public input is recognized in decisions.
  • Accessible. The city uses multiple mediums and platforms to reach the community.
  • Organized. Set clear expectations for meetings and other public processes.
  • Fuller discussion. Explore all of the issues instead of debating narrow solutions.

This vision was developed through Building Bridges, a project that engaged community members through live and online discussions. Rather than offering a set of rules to be followed, this vision represents the ideals that we aspire to, providing common language to talk about how we aim to treat each other and what to call out when we fall short.

Enduring Issues

Along with the Vision, the Building Bridges team developed a list of Enduring Issues that makes enacting this vision challenging. We embrace and encourage an awareness of these issues and invite the community to explore these challenges together. The city will host opportunities, and we invite you to create your own in all the spaces where civic conversation may occur.

Community Landscape

Building bridges community landscape.