ENgagement Survey

Working torward equitable engagement
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Development With US! Team

The Development With US! Team is a group made up of residents, stakeholders and City staff working toward more diverse and equitable representation of residents in the engagement process.  Our focus is on creating a community meeting model which provides a consistent experience to all residents, with information that is easy to access and understand, regardless of where they live, who they work for, or their level of influence.

Problem Statement

Over the course the meetings the need for a problem statement became apparent in order to continue making consistent progress toward our goal.
PROBLEM STATEMENT

The existing community engagement process is not engaging communities of color proportionately. There are no minimum engagement standards leading to inconsistent engagement experience for residents. Residents do not know enough about or understand the development process. As a result, the growth of our city, its policies, and key decisions are being shaped predominantly by white residents.

VISION

A Grand Rapids where residents of all neighborhoods are engaged and people ofcolor are proportionatelyrepresentedin the various stages of the growth and development of our city.

METHOD AND PROCESS

• Analyze Current engagement & identify components to be improved
• Develop recommendations for community
• Present recommendation to community for feedback via survey
• Create pilot for implementation utilizing community feedback
• Present pilot to city commission for approval
• Implement pilot with Neighborhood Associations, other entities doing community engagement & developers

GOALS

• More diverse and equitable representation of residents in the engagement process
• Standardized process for equitable access
• Increased the accessibility of relevant information and materials which the average resident can understand 

How We Got Here

Presenting the Letter
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CREATION OF THE DEVELOPMENT WITH US! TEAM
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Development of Recommendations
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Initial Engagements
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A More Representative Committee
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MEETINGS & CURRENT MEMBERS 
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Take the Survey NOW online or download PDF

Click here for a printable version of the survey
Or visit your closest Neighborhood Association, LINC-Up, The Hispanic Center of West Michigan, Baxter Community Center, United Methodist Community House, The Urban League, Family Outreach Center, Grand Rapids African American Health Institute to obtain a hard copy or return your completed paper survey.

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

Stakeholders

A person with an interest or concern in something

Equitable Representation

Fair representation according to the needs of an individual or demographic

Proportionately Represented

Participation by all residents in numbers reflecting the percentage of the demographic of the city which they make up

Advocates

Individuals or organizations who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy. In this case we refer to resident advocates.

Racialized Outcomes

Results or performance based on race

Decision Making Bodies

City, municipality or county officials, some elected but not all, who make decisions about the community such as the City Commission and Planning Commission.

Disparities

A big difference

Standardized

Conforms to standards as defined by community

Neighborhood Association Collaborative

The Grand Rapids Neighborhood associations joined forces to work together and collaborate. They formed this Collaborative.

Unintended consequences

Results of decisions or policies which were not planned or foreseen, often secondary to the desired outcomes

Pilot

An early or first version prior to launching the final product

Problem Statement

A declaration of the problem that is to be solved

Community Meeting Model

An ideal way for meetings to happen