For two years, Arlington County has been actively engaging with community members to rethink its public engagement strategy — an effort led by County Manager Mark Schwartz.
Now, the county is introducing a cohort of seven facilitators, or neutral facilitators, to act as the middlemen between members of the community and county employees during conversations about the county’s capital projects.
Rather than being invested in the project, the volunteers are invested in the process and what it means for their communities.
“They just want to be involved in helping their community be a better place. I mean, what’s in it for them is really being part of good processes and that’s extraordinary to me,” said Director of Public Engagement for Arlington County Roger Munter.
Each of the volunteers, with four language fluencies, represent the seven neighborhoods in the county.