Attended the Tuesday afternoon meeting of SEWRPC's Environmental Justice Task Force meeting.
Newly-hired outreach manager Steve Adams gave a presentation on his position, his goals and pledged efforts to change the way SEWRPC - the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission - - interacts with the public, especially low-income and minority communities.
One opportunity is right under SEWRPC and the task force's collective nose:
Take the task force's open and free-flowing format, in which the chair permits questions from the public during agenda items as well as at the conclusion.
Sometimes, actual give-and-take occurs, involving SEWRPC staff, task force members and public attendees.
By contrast, other SEWRPC advisory committee meetings I have attended do not incorporate this kind of discussion.
Public comments or questions, let alone interaction, do not occur. The entire discussion involves only SEWRPC staff, committee members and consultants.
If people knew they could attend other SEWRPC committee meetings, and participate, I believe attendance and buy-in would surge.
And if it extends some meetings, fine. So be it.
And then imagine if SEWRPC took more of these meetings away from its Pewaukee headquarters to public settings, and recorded them for playback, or posted them in real-time.
That''d put the public into regional planning.