[ONLINE] - Collaborative Governance: How We Build Power Together

Hester Street / https://hesterstreet.org

Collaborative governance, or co-governance, refers to a broad range of practices that elected officials, community leaders, bureaucrats, and organizers are adopting as they figure out how to govern together. Going beyond demands, co-governance represents a willing shift of power and trust among two typically adversarial parties. Instead of representatives and those represented on either side of a line, both see themselves as partners with unique and valuable capacities, working together to build the world we want to live in.

New America, The Forge, and Local Progress are co-hosting an event to examine what is co-governance, examples of on the ground models, and how to connect these local examples to higher models of structural power. The Forge recently published an issue on collaborative governance and New America’s Political Reform program released a report on collaborative governance models.

To accompany this work, we will be co-hosting a virtual event, bringing together advocates, practitioners, and elected officials to discuss best practices for co-governance, help identify promising strategies, and highlight lessons learned from on-the-ground experiences with co-governance in the U.S. It will attempt to move beyond the dichotomy of "inside" and "outside" power, and discuss ways that residents, organizers, and those in government can collaborate and move towards shared decision-making. We will put all of this in the context of the new wave of interest in and need for structural change brought about by the significant events of 2020.

Opening Remarks

Mark Schmitt
Director, Political Reform Program, New America



Crystal Zermeno
Strategy Director, Texas Organizing Project

Jessie Ulibarri, @jessie4CO
Co-Executive Director, State Innovation Exchange

Gail Johnson
Former Gainesville City Commissioner

Helen Gym, @HelenGymPHL
Philadelphia City Council Member


Hollie Russon Gilman
Fellow, Political Reform Program, New America

Sarah Johnson@sarahyjohnson
Executive Director, Local Progress


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Civic Engagement and Organizing