The Ames City Council approved a joint project with Iowa State to improve engagement with community members.
One of the Council’s goals is to reach different demographics in the community using multiple channels, but the pandemic has made this a challenge. The Council moved a project to work with Iowa State to help accomplish this goal.
The project would help save staff time that could be utilized for other goals and tasks the Council has and is a lower-cost option and could provide Iowa State students with real-life experiences, City Manager Steve Schainker said.
The work the classes will focus on is identifying the various groups of residents in the community, deciding which engagement techniques have been successful in other cities and which engagement techniques are most appropriate for the identified groups of residents.
“I don’t believe one technique will fit all, we might find that a certain technique is more effective than another and they will help us with that,” Schainker said. "What I like about it most of all is there is going to be a special emphasis being placed on how we engage our underrepresented population, our community, in this city. That is a real plus for us.”
The class could be designed to start on the analysis as early as the fall semester and depending on the status of COVID-19, the second class could be added in the spring semester, according to the memo.
“One of the City Council’s goals is to 'use the best communication engagement techniques and modern technologies to engage the community by reaching people in geographic areas using multiple channels.' This item seeks approval to work towards this goal with students in ISU's community and regional planning classes over two semesters. Thanks to Council Member Gloria Betcher for arranging contact with ISU faculty on this,” Ward 3 Rep. David Martin stated in his council preview.
The next city council meeting will be Aug. 11 and can be viewed from AmesChannel12 livestream.