On Monday, July 18, 2016 the Davenport Institute awarded the City of San Rafael with a Platinum award for public engagement. “This award is a testament to the great work of our dedicated staff and to a City Council committed to working with the community to make San Rafael an even better place,” said Mayor Gary Phillips, “This is an area where we must constantly improve, iterate, learn, and listen. The job is never done.”
In 2013, Vice Mayor Colin initiated an effort dubbed “Growing Resident Engagement and Transparency” (GREAT) which culminated in the City Council’s Community Engagement Action Plan in January 2015. Since then, City staff has worked to implement the plan marked by efforts to broaden public engagement through electronic notifications, open houses, NextDoor, YouTube, pop-up workshops and more. Major initiatives currently underway include a building a new city website, implementing constituent management software to manage public inquiries, and developing a robust strategy to better engage with Spanish-speaking members of the community.