Although governments can sometimes feel like “them” rather than “us,” our democracy is founded on the ideal of citizen participation in shaping government and holding it accountable. The inscription “The salvation of the state is watchfulness in the citizen” is carved above an entrance of Nebraska’s state capitol building, and it serves as a beacon for public involvement in policymaking. Inundated with information, citizens can often feel overwhelmed or become apathetic about important policy issues. It can be difficult to involve the public in meaningful dialogue on policy matters. At the heart of nearly all the Public Policy Center’s activities is the belief that the public is an important stakeholder in policy decisions. The Public Policy Center enriches policy dialogue through deliberative discussions, information seminars and presentations, community conversations, and surveys. These dialogues and information sharing sessions often include policymakers and have resulted in changes in policy and a more informed and engaged public.
Public Participation Projects
Public Participation Publications
PytlikZillig, L. M., Steffensmeier, T., Cambell Hibbs, A., Champion, B., Hunt, E. D., Harrington, J., Jr., Spears, J., Umphlett, N., Bruning, R., & Kahl, D. (2013). Fostering climate change education in the Central Great Plains: A public engagement approach. International Journal of Sustainability, 8(1), 161-177.
Herian, Mitchel N. (2011). Local Budgeting and Public Participation: Contextual Predictors of State Laws Mandating Public Input. State and Local Government Review, 43 (2).
Tomkins, A. J., Hoppe, R. D., Herian, M. N., PytlikZillig, L. M., Abdel-Monem, T., & Shank, N. C. (in press). Public input for city budgeting using e-input, face-to-face discussions, and random sample surveys: The willingness of an American community to increase taxes. Electronic Journal of e-Government.
PytlikZillig, L. M., Tomkins, A. J., Herian, M. N., Hamm, J. A., & Abdel-Monem, T. (2012). Public Input Methods Impacting Confidence in Government. Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, 6, 92 - 111. [Special issue, Collaborative e-Government, S. A. Chun, L.F. Luna-Reyes & R. Sandoval-Almazán, eds., 5-125]. doi:10.1108/17506161211214840