This week I attended a conference that is all about local government. And no, it’s not your typical local gov conference and it may not be an acronym you have heard of before. It is #ELGL18 and this year it is in Golden, CO. This conference brings together local government leaders from all around the country to nerd out on data, budgeting, and water rights. It sounds dry, but ELGL has a way of making it one of the most engaging conferences. Just take a look at the #ELGL18 Twitter feed. Full of quotes, questions, and gifs!
I am extremely happy to be at this conference representing DCI and learning more about the local governments and local government processes we work with all the time. Engaging Local Government Leaders is a big tent professional association full of innovative local government leaders with a passion for connecting, communicating and educating. I am here to connect with young leaders like myself. As a part of my work for DCI, I am actively trying to partner and empower Emerging Leaders in all types of fields connected to making our communities vibrant. (See my Emerging Leaders blog post from a few weeks ago).
My favorite session was from Jay Anderson from Colorado Springs called “Talking to Strangers”. Jay talked about building trust and asked “What’s the point of engaging? To build their trust. Trust is the secret sauce that allows our government to work”. Well, to build trust we have to communicate but “Citizen Engagement is not a communications thing, it’s a process thing”.
We have to integrate the engagement throughout our entire process and with every way we share information. I met a man yesterday who works for a local city and is part of the marketing/outreach team for the utilities department with a lot of information to communicate about their process.
I am looking forward to the last day here at #ELGL18 and I hope I can engage with all of you at our next Emerging Leader event on June 6th called Millennial Transportation Trends in the Sharing Economy.