#ELGLFerguson Questions

Ferguson Reactions & Revelations2

Don’t forget – ELGL’s moderated Twittersation about events in Ferguson, MO and around the country is on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. (that’s 7:00 p.m. Eastern time).  Members of the SE ELGL chapter will participate in the Twittersation from Beyu Caffe in Downtown Durham; after the Twittersation ends, their conversation will continue, live and in person.

Here are some of the questions that moderator Brittany Bennett will posit during the Twittersation.  Take a look and get your fingers ready to participate on Tuesday with ELGL in this important discussion.  Have questions of your own?  Share them in the feedback box and Brittany will add them to her list:

  1. Social media was a big part of information sharing in the Ferguson case. What is the future of social media in social movements & how can local leaders better use it to respond?
  2. How do we develop leaders who can acknowledge the potential for and respond to heightened racial tension within their communities?
  3. What can MPA programs do to better prepare students to deal with deeply rooted community tensions like those in Ferguson?
  4. What are ideas to recruit more diversity to public service?
  5. In Ferguson, should other officials (i.e. city manager/ elected officials) have had a greater role in the public discourse?
  6. What is the responsibility of public administrators or elected officials to mitigate community tensions?
  7. How do local governments walk the line of allowing protestors to exercise their rights while maintaining order and safety?
  8. How can public organizations, from schools to police departments, to ensure that employees can equitably serve all residents?
  9. How can local government agencies and public services leaders be proactive rather than reactive in their approach to bridging differences within their communities?
  10. How can public services leaders work to dismantle systems and structures of racism?
  11. Does the notion of ‘colorblindness’ create a barrier to overcoming racism?
  12. What does this case show about the need for local governments, especially smaller ones, prepare for major incidents from an administrative and PR perspective? How can you prepare?
  13. Since each public employee is a “street level bureaucrat” who’s the face of the local gov’t, whose responsibility is it to check their biases and prejudices?
  14. What is the local government’s role in Ferguson in healing and rebuilding trust?
  15. Should police officers be held to a higher legal standard in officer-involved shootings?
  16. Should police officers be screened for certain biases during the hiring process?
  17. How can police departments actively build positive relationships with communities of color?
  18. What is your perception of how the public views the verdict and Ferguson?
  19. Sentiment is divided largely along racial lines, what does that reveal/show us as public administrators?
  20. What is our collective role as public administrators in creating divided/segregated communities? What is our role in addressing economic and social injustice as a result of divided/segregated communities?
  21. How can frustration and anger be channeled into something positive? Is that possible? What is the role of local government? Of compassionate, individuals who care about communities, justice, doing the right thing?
  22. How can we unpack this conversation and break down some of the dichotomous thinking that permeates the media (cops/racists and black protesters/violent)? Or all cops are ALL heroes or ALL racists?
  23. How can we build trust in communities and build trust with police. If one doesn’t trust the other…it’s a cycle of mistrust that can lead to misunderstanding, disparate treatment, and violence/etc.
  24. How do we support our police (not undermine the rule of law) yet tackle this incredibly critical issue? Are there examples of places or police departments that are working aggressively to address these issues? What can we highlight from those places?
  25. Is there a culture shift needed in public safety departments? What is it? In government? What is it?
  26. As an active observer, or participant in discussions or protests around race relations and racial bias/justice in America? What have you learned? How will that shape your future actions?
  27. You are the city manager of Ferguson… What would you do now?
  28. Two stories emerge from Ferguson: the criminal who foolishly charges an officer and gets himself shot and the white police officer who portrays widespread racial disparities by shooting an unarmed black teen. What are public managers to do with these contradictory narratives?
  29. How can we keep racist treatment by police (and in other local government services) on the radar as a legitimate concern for local government professionals and administrators?
  30. How do we incorporate the racial impact of policies and programs into our thinking during planning, training, implementation, and evaluation? I’ve read anti-racism activists advocate for conducting racial impact analyses as part of implementing public policy in the same way we’d do an environmental impact analysis for a large infrastructure project. What could that look like?
  31. What makes someone an ally to anti-racist work? How can folks who commit to becoming allies incorporate those values in our professional lives?
  32. How can we better use data to address claims of police brutality, especially racially motivated allegations? What are some good examples of data tracking in police departments?
  33.  What effect will the President’s call for cameras & standardized distribution of military equipment have at local level?
  34. Who are local govt’s partners in addressing racial tensions? Who should take the lead?
  35. What are reactions to police responses to public outcries against Officer Wilson? How does the police response hurt/help progress?