Reframing Topeka: How Do We Improve Topeka?

Reframing Topeka: How Do We Improve Topeka

Use “Reframing Topeka: How Do We Improve Topeka?”, a local issue guide for talking together about how to make progress on what matters most, to start your conversations.

USE the Reframing Topeka Issue Guide – printable 8×11!

Participate in an in-person event to Learn and Practice Deliberation Together

  • Thursday, December 16 2021, 1:00pm – 2:30pm
    Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, Marvin Auditorium 101BC
    Registration required.
  • Tuesday, January 11 2022, 10:00am – 11:30am
    Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, Marvin Auditorium 101BC
    Registration required. 

Email connect@tscpl.org for questions or to organize an event with your group!

Please check back for updates and for more in person and online Zoom forums to be announced as community partners organize or cosponsor additional events.

Notes from Community Deliberations on “How Do We Improve Topeka?”

Jump to Reframing Topeka Project Updates and Timeline | Notes from Recent Deliberative Conversations

It’s never been more important to talk to each other about tough problems.

Practice listening with empathy and respect, considering other perspectives, and weighing the trade-offs of possible actions in a National Issues Forum hosted by the library.

Organize an Event

The library is actively seeking groups to host or co-sponsor Deliberative Conversations in our community. Our library team can facilitate topics including the “Reframing Topeka: How Do We Improve Topeka?” locally created issue framework, along with a variety of national issue guides like “Youth and Opportunity” and “What Should We Do About The Opioid Epidemic?” and other timely topics.  Please email connect@tscpl.org or call 785-580-4629 for more information or to discuss hosting a Deliberative Conversation with your group or organizing an event within our community.

How does a deliberative conversation work?

Around 12-20 people with a variety of perspectives will follow a National Issues Forum guide to discuss an issue. Each conversation will address an issue that doesn’t have one perfect answer.  Consider inviting someone to join you in deliberative conversation, especially someone with a different perspective, life experience or background than you.

What happens after a deliberative conversation?

Everyone is asked to continue learning and understanding the issue, to ask better questions, and to look both more broadly and more deeply at possible actions to address the big issues communities face while considering the trade offs to those actions.

 

2021 Reframing Topeka Project Updates and Timeline

Topeka: How should we take action to improve quality of life in our community?   

Goal: Reframing Topeka’s challenges to create a framework for deliberation, considering approaches and tradeoffs and looking for common ground for action among multiple stakeholders and diverse groups 

  1. Concern Collecting 
  2. AdvisorRole 
  3. Reframing Sessions 
  4. Testing the Draft Issue Guide 
  5. Launching Local Deliberative Conversations around How should we take action to improve quality of life in our community?   

 1. Concern Collecting 2-3 pm, April 1, 2021

We’re reframing Topeka’s challenges to look for common ground for action among multiple stakeholders and diverse groups — and we need your input. What concerns you about HOW we are improving Topeka? 

Report out from April 1, 2021 Concern Collecting (3 page pdf)

Contribute additional concerns and invite others to contribute through this form or email connect@tscpl.org.

2. Advisors know themselves and know our community 

We consider you an Advisor in this work. As part of continuing work that Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library is doing with the Kettering Foundation, we are working with the community around how we face our difficult issues. This is something groups are already talking about, so we’re trying to look at things in a new way, using a deliberative framework to examine different approaches, tradeoffs and unintended consequences. As a community we can explore the things we can mostly all agree on, the people these actions may affect, and include people from different backgrounds and with different priorities or values. 

Advisors receive updates, send feedback, participate as you are willing and able in work sessions, embrace deliberating approaches to challenges we face in Topeka, explore possible unintended consequences and consider trade offs Read more about our work with Deliberative Conversations. 

3. Reframing Work Sessions (April and May 2021) 

Topeka: How should we take action to improve quality of life in our community?   

Goal: Reframing Topeka’s challenges to create a framework for deliberation, considering approaches and tradeoffs and looking for common ground for action among multiple stakeholders and diverse groups 

  • Session #1 Objective: Consider underlying values of concerns, narrow and group into 3-4 possible approaches 

  • Session #2 Objective: Consider tensions between approaches, and what we would have to accept if an approach was successful. 

  • Session #3 Objective: Identify possible actions for each approach, including actions from federal, state and local government agencieselected officials, organizations, businesses, education, community groups, and faith groups.  Also identify tradeoffs or unintended consequences for each action. 

4. Deliberate to test using the drafted local issue guide (mid June 2021) 

Objective: Use the drafted reframing to thoughtfully deliberate this issue of Topeka: How should we take action to improve quality of life in our community?. Identify areas to improve and rework within the draft.  

 5. Launching Local Deliberative Conversations (early August 2021) 

Publish the issue guide as a tool to encourage and support Topeka in addressing what matters most to our community. 

Present issue guide framework to City Council, County Commission, media, stakeholders, others. 

Share an initial report capturing what the participants identified as common ground, tensions or unintended consequences. 

Encourage community groups to schedule additional community deliberation on this issue, add more public deliberation on this issue. Reflect on who is missing from the deliberation and seek out their perspectives. 

Public DeliberationsLibrary hosts public deliberations using this reframing issue guide and shares reports with community. 

 

Notes from Deliberative Conversations 2019-2021

Youth and Opportunity

What Should We Do for Future Generations to Thrive?

Summary of June 10, 2021 Deliberation: Youth and Opportunity

Back to Work

How Should We Rebuild Our Economy?

Summary of February 10, 2021 Deliberation: Back to Work

Policing

What should we do to ensure equal justice and fair treatment in our communities?

Notes from the October 7, 2020 Deliberative Conversation: Policing

Making Ends Meet

How should we spread prosperity and improve opportunity?

Notes from the March 4, 2021 Deliberative Conversation: Making Ends Meet

Safety and Justice

How should communities reduce violence?

Notes from October 2019 Deliberative Conversation on Safety and Justice

Notes from March 2021 Deliberative Conversation on Safety and Justice 

Mental Illness in America

How do we address a growing mental health problem?

Notes from March 2021 Deliberative Conversation on Mental Illness 

Notes from April 2021 Deliberative Conversation on Mental Illness 

Obesity in America

How should we reduce obesity in America?

Notes from November 2019 Deliberative Conversation on Obesity in America

Over the Edge

What should we do when alcohol and drug use become a problem to society?

Notes from March 2021 Deliberative Conversation on Over the Edge