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Citizen Participation No. 286

Adopted 2005
Reaffirmed 2006
Reaffirmed 2007

ADA believes citizens must involve themselves in the affairs of the government: in planning, developing laws, and implementing programs.

Citizen participation enhances the legitimacy and efficacy of government action. In addition, such involvement permits the development of leadership skills and resources by responsible citizens who frequently are excluded from the political process.

ADA recommends that elected and executive officials at all levels of government maximize citizen participation in government by taking the following steps:

  1. Make it clear to their cabinet members, mid-level managers, and staff, as well as their constituents, that the input of citizens is a priority.
  2. Meet personally with citizen groups and otherwise responding to them;
  3. Allocate adequate resources to facilitate effective citizen participation;
  4. Promote the timely exchange of regulatory and legislative information between Washington and grassroots groups through both print and electronic media;
  5. Institutionalize procedures that provide for input from local groups from the earliest of stages of legislative drafting, through the implementation and evaluation of programs.
  6. Ensure that open meeting laws are enforced; and
  7. Use the Internet and local media designed to reach diverse citizen groups, including minorities, to post meeting notices, agenda, minutes, policy proposals, and decisions, and to encourage two-way communication between citizens and policy makers.

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No. 286
Political and Governmental Commission