Policy Development and New Immigrant Communities: A Case Study of Citizen Input in Defining Transit Problems


  • Hindy Lauer Schachter,

    1. Professor of management at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. She is the author of Reinventing Government or Reinventing Ourselves: The Role of Citizen Owners in Making a Better Government, Frederick Taylor and the Public Administration Community: A Re-evaluation, and Public Agency Communication: Theory and Practice. E-mail: schachterh@adm.njit.edu.
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  • Rongfang (Rachel) Liu

    1. Assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. She previously served as a project manager and senior supervising engineer for PB Transit and Rail Systems, Inc., in Newark, New Jersey. Her research expertise includes intermodal transportation, travel behavior, and public transportation systems. E-mail: rliu@adm.njit.edu
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This case study explores an attempt to get input from people with limited English proficiency in a state department of transportation project to improve their transit access. Adding community voices to expert discourse can increase an agency's ability to respond effectively in a technical field. The article yields insights into the benefits of using deliberative groups rather than questionnaires as a technique for involving citizens in problem definition.