As we move forward with Healthy Demroacy we intend to track our progress in the form of various assessments. We understand that using online resources as an interface of engagement across Oregon’s rural and urban populations has its challenges, but with active progress reports and assessments, we believe this has great potential for improving the effectiveness of environmental engagement between rural and urban Oregon.
To meet our first goals, we aim to reach across the state of Oregon and be an advocate for conversation between different stakeholders in the conversation of environmental regulation. As Oregon’s urban areas compile most of the political sway, we want to enhance participation by encouraging rural Oregonians via mailing campaigns. Instead of relying on individuals to want to get involved this approach offers objective resources that are meant to empower rural Oregonians and inform them that their voices are heard and important in political conversations. This data can also be used to track overtime who is actively participating based upon who responds to the mailing packets.
Additionally, we have decided to assess our partnership project with active participant feedback via the form of online surveys and interviews. This method is meant to assess the feelings and concerns of participants as they travel through various stages of our project. As citizens participate in conversations online hosted by Healthy Democracy we want to ensure that people feel that it was an effective conversation where their voices were represented during the debates. Questions will be structured on topics relating to political ideology, personal stake in the particular issue, knowledge of the discussion topic, and overall feelings and opinions toward different stakeholders. In this politically divided community, our aim is to survey participants before and after they have completed the conversation. The questions in the survey will be the same for each participant including questions about self-reflection and their involvement in the debate once it is over. Throughout the process, we hope this gives insightful feedback from the participant’s standpoint and it will help us assess problems associated with the online platform, flow of conversation, or any other concerns with the project.
In the beginning stages of our project, it seems relatively easy to implement with help from Health Democracy. As this project grows it requires funding in order to reach different audiences by mail and sending out information about the meetings, yet the conversations themselves are more readily accessible given most areas have internet. Therefore we believe this project is possible over the course of multiple semesters as Envs 295 continues to work with partner organizations. Thus, far we have not received confirmation for this project and have created a theoretical framework for future suggestions of online engagement for rural and urban Oregonians.