When nobody shows up for that public hearing or that planning charrette, we sigh and say, “Well, people are just apathetic.” This site brings you a seven-minute TED talk suggesting that it is isn’t so much apathy as it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. We write in jargon. Our newspaper public notices are a mass of gray ink. Political parties are a big game of inside baseball.
“We live in a world that actively discourages engagement.” says Dave Meslin, a Canadian good-government advocate and self-described community choreographer. “That’s not apathy, that’s intentional exclusion.”
The Plannersweb.com article calls for community leaders and staff to provide a comfortable, welcoming environment, write and speak for lay audiences, provide sufficient copies of materials being discussed and explain the governance process thoroughly.