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Public Involvement

Public involvement is an important part of our planning process. Our commitment is to engage residents and encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to participate in planning for Southeastern Wisconsin’s future.

Our Approach

Planning for the Region’s future cannot be done well without working together. The Region’s needs require a multi-county planning effort enriched through the participation of many people.

This page highlights the Commission’s efforts to engage residents and identifies ways to provide input to planning studies underway. Our Public Participation Plan identifies our outreach approach and Public Involvement & Outreach staff lead efforts to engage and involve residents in the planning process.


Community Partners

Since 2013, our staff has developed a strong partnership with nine community organizations, referred to as Community Partners, representing groups that have traditionally been underrepresented—in particular, people of color, people with disabilities, and low-income residents. The Community Partners play a valuable role in the Commission’s public involvement and outreach, including providing input and feedback on outreach plans, hosting or co-organizing presentations about relevant Commission planning efforts or projects, and sharing information with their stakeholders through social media or newsletters.

Community Partners sitting and standing for a group picture at an event

The nine Community Partners include:

  • Common Ground (not shown in photo)
  • Ethnic and Diverse Business Coalition
  • Hmong American Friendship Association
  • Independence First
  • Greater Milwaukee Urban League (not shown in photo)
  • Renew Environmental Public Health Advocates
  • Southside Organizing Center
  • Urban Economic Development Association of Wisconsin
  • Urban League of Racine and Kenosha (not shown in photo)


How We Engage Residents

We place a continual emphasis on effective outreach to residents of the diverse communities that make up Southeastern Wisconsin, led by our Public Involvement & Outreach Division. Our engagement techniques are constantly evolving and include in-person meetings and events, video conferences, print and digital content, and an ‘open door’ to discuss issues facing the Region.

Engaging specific population groups, notably low-income populations, people of color, and people with disabilities or other needs, is a particular focus. The Commission’s Environmental Justice Task Force (EJTF) and advisory committees guiding each planning effort frequently provide important suggestions for these processes. We also directly engage and provide updates to over 75 Primary Organizations serving specific population subgroups, including the Commission's Community Partners.


Commission staff person working with a student at an event

Education and Presentations

The Commission also helps to educate elected officials, local government staff, and residents on a variety of matters related to regional planning efforts and implementation. Staff will present at government meetings, local events, community meetings, classrooms, or to any group of interested individuals. Contact us to schedule a presentation or briefing on any of our efforts!


Public Participation Plan 

Our Public Participation Plan recognizes the importance of public participation to regional planning, identifies our public participation goals, and lays out important steps taken to involve community members in our efforts.

The plan outlines how we intend to achieve public participation and is based on our three-part goal to:

  1. Ensure early and continuous public notification about regional planning
  2. Provide meaningful information concerning regional planning
  3. Obtain participation and input to regional planning

As the official Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for transportation planning for Southeastern Wisconsin, the Commission has specific federal public participation requirements related to transportation planning and programming. The plan includes two plan appendices specific to meeting these requirements:

  • Appendix A focuses on public participation activities to be used in transportation planning and programming
  • Appendix B describes the process for the consulting and coordination with governmental agencies and officials and others in transportation planning and programming efforts