Public dialogues

The following are examples of public dialogues that I framed and led.  Typical for my work, each process had large numbers of participants, including key thinkers about process and content.

  1. The primary dialogue with the Leach Upper Garden Development project has been between garden board members and the design team.  A key group of drivers with experience in design formed a Working Group to meet regularly and provide response and direction, approved by Portland Parks and Recreation, for the design.  The second layer of dialogue occurs in the Advisory Committee, a group of 20 community members interested in the potential for contemporary botanical gardens.

  1. Metro Levy Blue Ribbon Committee in 2012 was an amazing committee that gave shape to the voter measure.  With significant staff support and strong committee leadership, over the course of four meetings the committee reviewed the need for a levy, determined the magnitude of voter funding, and approved a proposal for how the funds would be prioritized. 

  1. Active Transportation Blue Ribbon Committee

  2. This committee reframed the region’s perspective on off-road trails.  It began as a dialogue to discuss potential federal funding and ended with new life for the overall topic.  Key to the discussion were committee members posing hard questions about why off-road trails were not coordinated with on-street facilities.  The discussion brought to light the government silos that deterred a seamless system.  Work of this committee has had lasting influence on a network of biking and walking coordinated with public transit.

  1. Southwest Community Center

  2. The public dialogue on this community center was raucous, acrimonious and downright difficult.  It ended with the resolution of a citizen land use appeal through State land use court. 
    At the heart of the discussion was a question about appropriate use of parkland for a building – however community-oriented.  It was also about neighbors’ sense of rights over their nearby parks and those rights in relationship to a larger community purpose.

Additional dialogues of note:

  1. Holocaust Memorial, Washington Park Portland

  2. Mt. Tabor Reservoir design competition

  3. Lone Fir Cemetery cross-cultural dialogue

  4. Support for a variety of dialogues with The Intertwine Alliance related to the region’s network of parks, trails and natural areas