More Than A Survey: How the City of Revere Increased Transparency And Inclusion
The City of Revere is located on the eastern coast of Massachusetts and is bordered by Boston to the south. With a population of around 62K, the city is a growing suburb of Boston.
Like many cities across the nation, the release of the 2020 decennial census data triggered a need for putting the newly updated data to use. For planners this meant updating planning area boundaries and information, and for the wider community this meant the processes of redistricting and reprecincting would soon begin.
The state redistricting process (drawing new congressional and state legislative district boundaries) occurs every 10 years. For cities and towns, reprecincting puts the new decennial data to use to redraw precinct and ward boundaries.
Reprecincting is the drawing of new local precinct and ward boundaries by City Officials. Wards and precincts are relevant for voting location and ward councilors and are used by the state legislature to redraw legislative districts. Precincts must be drawn to contain roughly equal numbers of residents (not voters). Redrawing happens every decade!
According to a 2021 poll sponsored by The Economist, the level of trust community members have with redrawing processes is low.. In fact, just 16 percent of U.S. adults said they thought their states’ congressional maps would be drawn fairly, while 44 percent said they thought the maps would be drawn unfairly.
Research has shown that, for local governments, the greatest antidote to public mistrust is transparency and inclusion.
Beyond An Online Survey – An Interactive Mapping Experience To Educate And Engage
The Redrawing Revere project represented a necessary and important opportunity for the city to engage the community using an informative and inclusive process of rebalancing the geographic boundaries of the cities wards and precincts.
The Public | Engagement Hub provided an easy method for the Reprecincting Team to share information with the community about the importance of census data and how that impacts communities at the state and local levels.
Hallmarked by increased community transparency and inclusion, the Redraw Revere initiative leveraged the PublicInput platform to do more than set up a project site and online survey. The initiative used strategic engagement tactics powered by PublicInput to quickly and easily inform, listen, communicate, and analyze public perceptions.
The Reprecincting Team leveraged the PublicInput Comments solution to capture input from a broad cross section of citizens. The tech also gave them the ability to respond to every comment and clear up a lot of misunderstandings.
Throughout the process of engagement, the Reprecincting Team was committed to including a diverse set of voices to ensure that the input was representative of individuals living within the Revere community. Using the PublicInput survey mapping features, the team could measure representative access during and after the engagement process.
Using a unified approach to public engagement allowed the Team to easily develop interactive mapping to serve as a starting point for collecting community dialogue and easy reporting.
The process of transparent communication and inclusive decision was simplified using the PublicInput Platform. The unified approach allowed the team to easily keep the community informed, document and share issues that arose during the process, offer FAQ resources, display a process timeline, and offer a portal for community questions and/or comments all in one place.
Mission Accomplished: Revere Redrawn Successfully
The culmination of all this work resulted in the City of Revere adopting the new maps, developed in partnership with the community, by unanimous vote in November of 2021.
Want to learn more about how PublicInput can help you and your team increase engagement, transparency and inclusion? Chat with an expert today!