In 2017, CAN, iACT and Civic Collaboration hosted a series of Deliberative Dialogues on the topic of Safety and Justice. While local crime rates in our community have declined over recent years, many people still do not feel safe and/or feel that they are not being treated fairly when it comes to law enforcement and criminal justice.The deliberative dialogues brought community members together to discuss and consider how we can increase safety in our community, while at the same time ensure justice. The National Issues Forum developed an issue guide that was used as guide for the community dialogue about how communities can restore goodwill and trust between law enforcement and citizens.
Watch the Introductory Video that was used during the Community Dialogues on Safety and Justice.
Click here to view Local Information about Safety and Justice that was shared during these community dialogues.
In Fall 2017, the Austin deliberative dialogue team convened three dialogue forums with over 90 participants from 45 different zip codes around Austin. The dialogue process was centered around the three approaches that participants were asked to reflect upon: Enforce the Law Together – Expanding policing while strengthening community-police partnerships; Apply the Law Fairly – Remove injustices, reform inequities and improve accountability; and De-escalate and Prevent Violence – Reduce the culture of violence and take direct action to disrupt conflict. Dialogue participants explored each option, discussed possible solutions, and considered the trade-offs involved for each. The output from these conversations were documented in a final report for this dialogue process that outlines the approaches and actions that seemed to resonate the most.
In 2016, CAN, Civic Collaboration, Interfaith Action of Central Texas (iACT) and Leadership Austin hosted a series of Deliberative Dialogues on the topic of Building a Community of Equity and Opportunity. The Austin team was part of a multi-city learning exchange facilitated by the Kettering Foundation that involved individuals and entities from Marin County, California, Columbia, Missouri, and South Florida. The purpose of the learning exchange was to select a local community challenge and to develop the tools and resources that were needed to have a deliberative dialogue on this local challenge.
After selecting the issue of “bridging the economic divide,” the Austin deliberative dialogue team held a series of listening sessions to better understand how members of the community who come from diverse backgrounds feel and talk about this challenging problem. The knowledge gained from the listening session was used to frame the issue guide that was developed for the deliberative dialogue process.
In Spring and Summer 2016, the Austin deliberative dialogue team convened three dialogue forums with close to 100 participants from 39 different zip codes around Austin. The dialogue process was centered around the three approaches that participants were asked to reflect upon: Level the Playing Field; Unleash the Creativity of the Private Sector; and Hold on to What Makes Austin Special. The final report for this dialogue process outlines the approaches and actions that seemed to resonate the most.