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Springfield City Council Working Group on Civic Engagement Releases Final Recommendations

The Springfield City Council’s Working Group on Civic Engagement presented their final recommendations on Tuesday night at Springfield City Hall.

Appearing in the Springfield City Council Chamber, the Working Group consisting of 15 local residents from across the city rolled out eight final policy and operational recommendations for the City Council to consider in the upcoming year to increase civic engagement, involve more people in the work of local government, and make it easier for residents and businesses to engage with local elected officials.

City Council President Jesse Lederman appointed the Working Group in October following a review of applications submitted following his public call for volunteers. He named newly elected Ward 5 City Councilor Lavar Click-Bruce as the group’s Chair.

“As the President of the City Council I want to ensure that the work we do supports as many residents and businesses as possible, and that every constituent across the City of Springfield can have a voice in their local government. That’s why one of my first initiatives as President was appointing the Working Group on Civic Engagement,” said City Council President Jesse Lederman, “The Working Group on Civic Engagement has risen to the occasion and delivered concrete recommendations to make local government work better. Thank you to Chairman Click-Bruce and each member for volunteering their time, talent, and experience in service to the City of Springfield.”

“First and foremost I would like to thank Council President Jesse Lederman for creating this Working Group. We wanted to get feedback from our constituents, and this is why the Working Group was created. It is very important to see what they’re thinking in terms of making the City of Springfield a better community,” said Ward 5 City Councilor Lavar Click-Bruce, Chair of the Working Group, “The Working Group on Civic Engagement is simply amazing, and I believe we came up with some great recommendations to present to the City Council.”

The Working Group met consistently throughout this year’s fourth quarter and solicited public input through a Virtual Roundtable to arrive at the conclusion of their final recommendations.

The recommendations are summarized as follows:

  1. Create a Layman’s Cover Sheet for Legislative Proposals

  2. Implement Text & Email Alerts for Public Meetings

  3. Launch Online Public Speak-Out and Committee Meeting Registration

  4. Adopt Early & Mail-In Voting in Local Elections

  5. Hold Monthly Local Government Briefings

  6. Assess and Expand 311 Call Center Operations

  7. Expand Opportunities for Youth Participation & Education

  8. Expand Focused Efforts to Actively Support Senior Citizens

The attached report details each recommendation, its importance, and next steps for implementation.

The members of the Working Group were Jada Francis-Fisher, Juan Falcon, Erica Swallow, Lisa Wilson Bakowski, Dr. Patrice Caudle, Magdalena Gomez, Brenda Evans, Elizabeth Payne-Ghedi, Jasper McCoy, Areliz Barbosa, Pastor Gumersindo “Manny” Gomez, Mable Lene Sharif, Ron Davis, Frank Ryan and Kareem Kibodya. City Clerk Gladys Oyola-Lopez and Focus Springfield Executive Director Steve Cary are served as advisors to the Working Group. Biographies for all members can be found in the final report.

Final Draft Working Group on Civic Engagement Recommendations 2022 (2)
Download PDF • 374KB

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