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Elusive Community in South Park

Denise Rodriguez (University of Washington)

November 2010


This case focuses on concepts that public officials and non-governmental professionals need to understand in order to represent their organizations and offer services effectively in complex community settings. In particular, the case explores important nuances in the “inclusion” skills that enable public managers to cultivate public participation in fractious communities (Feldman and Khademian 2007), where traditional methods of citizen involvement such as public notices and hearings may be ineffective. Representatives of governmental and non-governmental organizations who work in divided communities like South Park need to be able to recognize the different component groups that make up the “community” and build rapport with each of them. 

400 Eggers Hall