Public participation can be as simple as submitting an email stating your position or concerns. I would suggest that you send the email to your district council member and cc all other council members as well as the mayor. That way there is no misunderstanding by any of the other 8 voting members on where the public stands. Sending this message in advance of the date your item is to appear on the agenda is also important. It gives the member time to review, discuss or further investigate your issue and position prior to the vote.
Another option that carries significant influence is to be present when your item comes before the council for their vote. This sends the clearest message when you attend with other like-minded residents to support or defend an agenda item. A full council chamber is always a reason for staff, mayor and council members to be concerned! There are roughly 200 seats available - your name should be on one of them.
If your concerns are lead by your neighborhood association or a leadership group like HUSH2 or Neighborhoods First, joining in the efforts as a volunteer or making a financial contribution to the cause, also helps spread the word. Even though today we have the internet, not everyone uses it for sharing or receiving important local information. In a large campaign effort, walking neighborhoods and canvassing fliers still hold the most impact. That takes a group of committed individuals who will share their time to influence outcome.
It takes a village is still so true!
Stay Involved! Rae