Modes of public outreach: new publication from Dr. Gen
Sheldon Gen, associate professor in the School of Public Affairs & Civic Engagement, and alumna Erika Luger (MPA, ’09) published their analysis of public outreach by a San Francisco public agency in The Routledge Handbook of International Local Government. The handbook is a ground-breaking collection of research on local government practices from around the world. Gen and Luger’s chapter, “Does mode of public outreach matter?,” empirically demonstrates how government’s modes of public outreach can affect the outcomes of government decisions. Sticking to just a few modes of outreach — such as the overused and under-attended public hearing — can bias public input toward the interests of specific demographic segments of a community. Gen and Luger conclude that democratic representation is enhanced not just by more opportunities to participate, but also by more ways of participating. Their research was supported by a contract with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.