“We are extremely excited about the new public engagement training and consulting opportunities open to us through the creation of this new institute. If these last few years have taught us anything, it is that local and regional leaders throughout California are confronting more and more difficult policy decisions in new and creative ways, reaching out to their residents for ideas and actual participation in ‘common sense’ solutions. Through the new Davenport Institute we will continue to support them as they lead in the ‘new normal’ of tight budgets and tough land use decisions.”According to a press statement about the new institute, its creations will expand the three roles that Common Sense California takes on to support public participation in local policy-making: “consulting on projects; funding them through grant programs and relationships with concerned foundations; and promoting the ever-growing field of public engagement through training, writing, and public speaking.” The creators of the institute hope that it will serve as a greater platform to expand consulting and training services. Grants will eventually be available for cities, counties, and civic organizations. As for work with local officials, creators of the institute announced that “In fact, we are in the process of developing an ‘Advisory Board’ made up of local leaders from throughout California. We want the new Davenport Institute to continue to learn from and be responsive to governments and civic organizations that work at the local/regional level.” For more information, visit here and here.