Ph D Edward C Caprielian, Management Consultant/University Professor over 8 years ago

The corruption in Bell is “American as apple pie.” It is typical in low socio-economic communities in Southeast Los Angeles County and in cities as Manhattan Beach with wealthy, highly educated populations.

The commonality is lack of citizen oversight. As emphasized in a recent Daily Breeze editorial (“Bell corruption closer than we want to know”), “You’ll never know unless you pay attention to what your electeds are up to.” (March 26)

Why the lack of “attention”? In Manhattan Beach, as across the nation, elected officials, by limiting public engagement, fail to see their role as servants not masters thereby generating public apathy and disengagement.

For example, Manhattan Beach residents can only sadly claim, “We’re no worse than Los Angeles,” because, recently, in both cities, only 21 percent of registered voters turned out on Election Day. Indeed, the turnout in our seven municipal elections during 2001-2013 has been 19.1, 21.5, 29.5, 22.5, 24.03, 21.41, and 21.84 percent. Voter apathy is a clear indicator that prior Manhattan Beach City Councils have consistently discouraged public engagement thereby failing to gain the attention and commitment of our residents to care about public policymaking. The current Manhattan Beach City Council needs to acknowledge these past failures and demonstrate by action, not only words, that it will “walk the talk” to gain that attention, commitment, and caring. Further, “We the People” (U.S. Constitution) must insist that in delegating authority to our elected officials, do not give up our right to decide what is good for the people.

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Liza Tamura admin over 8 years ago

Thank you for your posts. What would you like to see as specific and actionable first steps towards improving citizen participation in Manhattan Beach?

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Ph D Edward C Caprielian, Management Consultant/University Professor over 8 years ago

Manhattan Beach City Clerk Tamura:

Thank you for your inquiry. The first specific step to furthering public engagement in Manhattan Beach is for the Manhattan Beach City Council to understand the distinction between community engagement and civic participation.

“Public Engagement” requires the Manhattan Beach City Council to empower residents in public policymaking via informed dialogue and deliberation resulting in effective recommendations that will guide our governance.

The following are the distinctions between public engagement and public participation:

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION VS. PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT

One-Way Communication Active Dialogue Passive Deliberative Parent-Child Relationship Adult-Adult Relationship Representative Democracy Consultative Democracy Status Quo Moving Forward Patronization Ownership Alienation Commitment

The Manhattan Beach City Council has pacified residents for decades via public participation resulting in their alienation and disengagement from civic affairs. Therefore, generating public engagement in Manhattan Beach requires a paradigm shift by our elected officials that recognizes its value in promoting civic renewal.

Are you interested in specific examples of successful public engagement efforts? If so, I recommend the website of the Institute of Local Government, the education arm of the League of California Cities. The ILG also provides further information differentiating public engagement from public participation. www.ca-ilg.org.

Edward C. Caprielian, Ph.D. Manhattan Beach Resident

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Ph D Edward C Caprielian, Management Consultant/University Professor over 8 years ago

To compensate for the inability to format the information related to PUBLIC PARTICIPATION VS. PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT, the distinctions are listed below.

Public Participation

One-Way Communication Passive Parent-Child Relationship Representative Democracy Status Quo Patronization Alienation

vs.

Public Engagement

Active Dialogue Deliberative Adult-Adult Relationship Consultative Democracy Moving Forward Ownership Commitment

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Ph D Edward C Caprielian, Management Consultant/University Professor over 8 years ago

Public Participation: One-Way Communication, Passive, Parent-Child Relationship, Representative Democracy, Status Quo, Patronization, Alienation.

Public Engagement: Active Dialogue, Deliberative, Adult-Adult Relationship, Consultative Democracy, Moving Forward, Ownership, Commitment

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Ph D Edward C Caprielian, Management Consultant/University Professor over 8 years ago

City Clerk Tamura:

O.K. I've responded. Now what will be the first specific step you will take to promote community engagement, not public participation? Edward C. Caprielian, Ph.D.

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Ph D Edward C Caprielian, Management Consultant/University Professor over 8 years ago

City Clerk Tamura:

I am still waiting for a response. Or, is it simply the lack of any ideas or a lack of willingness to stand up to your convictions.

Edward C. Caprielian, Ph.D.

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