Thursday, October 25th, 2012
Tomorrow, Friday, October 26, the Bradley Center at the Hudson Institute is hosting a panel discussion to explore how problems in government can open the way for an active citizenry. The event, “Broken Cities or Civic Renewal?”, begins at 12:00 PM at the Institute, but can also be livestreamed here.
Just over two years ago, the citizens of Bell, California, discovered from an exposé in the Los Angeles Times that their city officials were among the highest paid in the nation, in spite of the city’s underperforming economy and high unemployment rate. After some officials were arrested, the city was left with no functioning government and empty coffers.
This might seem like the least favorable environment for encouraging civic engagement in public affairs, but that is not how Pepperdine University’s Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership saw it. Davenport’s Pete Peterson helped the new civic leadership design a process to bring everyday citizens directly into the redesign of government and its budget.
According to one account, “Since his involvement with the city began, Peterson’s partnership with Bell’s new and interim management has served as a living, breathing case study of public engagement and civic renewal, one that he hopes will inspire other cities to adopt further dialogue between local government and residents. [As Peterson said,] ‘I’ve been tremendously encouraged thus far by both the citizens of Bell and the new city leaders, who have been at the forefront of trying to change the identity of a city now known as a symbol of corruption.’”
Please join us on October 26th to discuss what happened in Bell, California, and how the city is trying to move forward. Speakers will include Pete Peterson, Executive Director of the Davenport Institute; Christopher Gates from Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement; City of Bell Council Member Ana Maria Quintana; and former interim Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Bell Kenneth Hampian. Hudson Institute Senior Fellow William Schambra will moderate the discussion. Lunch will be served.
Pete Peterson, “Liberty…Bell?,” Fox & Hounds Daily, January 24, 2012.
Program and Panel
Registration, lunch buffet
Introduction by Bradley Center Director William Schambra
Christopher Gates, Executive Director of Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE)
Kenneth Hampian, Former Interim Chief Administrative Officer, City of Bell
Pete Peterson, Executive Director of the Davenport Institute at Pepperdine University
Ana Maria Quintana, Council Member, City of Bell
Learn more–and register for the event–at the Hudson Institute.