Diversity and Civil Leadership Programs : Is there a window of opportunity for equity and inclusiveness in the City of Portland's public involvement? Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_projects/8336h3722

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  • Civic participation has been perceived to be an important aspect in the City of Portland. Portland‟s civic engagement model and the high level of public participation from Portlanders have drawn praises. Not all communities, however, have been included in the democratic process, which should be accessible to all Portlanders. Communities of color, immigrants and refugee groups (underengaged communities) have historically been excluded from many decision-making processes. This research project applies a qualitative research method to study the recent development and implementation of the Diversity and Civic Leadership (DCL) programs by the City of Portland to address the disparities in civic engagement of underengaged communities. Social Construction of Target Populations theoretical framework and the concept of equity were employed to understand if the is a window of opportunity for equity and inclusiveness in the city‟s public involvement. The results from this research indicate that the decision to implement the DCL programs have begun the process towards creating a more equitable and inclusive engagement of civic involvement. Other findings, however, illustrate that barriers continue to persist for underengaged populations in regards to accessing the City of Portland. The data collected from the personal interviews reveals that additional efforts are needed by the City of Portland to sustain and meet their commitment to create a more equitable and inclusive civic engagement.
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