Community engagement is an essential part of any transportation project at East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (ECWRPC). Good community engagement can help residents advocate for what they need, understand why projects are happening, and improve safety on the roadways, whether in a car, in a bus, on bike, or on foot.
Historically, marginalized communities have been excluded from transportation planning efforts and decision-making, which has resulted in less access to safe, comfortable, and convenient transportation. ECWRPC wants to address these past wrongs and help prevent local governments from perpetuating past harms in future planning efforts.
Additionally, community engagement efforts for transportation projects often attract people who are already comfortable interacting with government agencies and have time and resources to attend engagement opportunities at their leisure. This often means people who are most impacted by a project are not able to have the opportunity to express their opinions and provide feedback. ECWRPC wants to be intentional in engaging community members who are diverse in age, race, ability, language, and have different life experiences.
ECWRPC is developing our first Equity in Community Engagement Toolkit and Guidebook. This toolkit will include engagement types, methods, and strategies that improve how ECWRPC and local communities engage with community members. The toolkit will be focused on making sure that those who have been excluded in past engagement efforts are able to engage in the future in a way that is comfortable, inclusive, and convenient, no matter who they are. Equity and environmental justice will be fundamental pieces of the toolkit.
We are hoping that the Equitable Engagement Toolkit will be ready for ECWRPC and its partners to use in the fall. We will be working with community partners throughout the summer to get the word out, pilot the toolkit on a few projects, and train ECWRPC and local municipal staff on how to use the toolkit.
Yes! Thanks for asking. The first step in making community engagement more equitable and inclusive is listening. We want to hear from you – How would you like to be engaged? Tell us your thoughts by heading to https://survey.alchemer.com/s3/6858086/ECWRPC-Equity-in-Community-Engagement-Survey (English) or https://survey.alchemer.com/s3/6883901/ECWRPC-Equity-in-Community-Engagement-Survey-Spanish (Spanish) to take a 5-minute survey on community engagement.
In addition, if you know individuals or a group you think would be interested in talking with ECWRPC about what they’d like to see in the toolkit, please contact Kim Biedermann at firstname.lastname@example.org or 920.886.6833, and we will be in touch.