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A residents assembly—also referred to as a community or citizens’ assembly—is a group of individuals who come together to learn about, discuss and reflect on a given topic, and present actionable recommendations to decision-makers.

Typically, these individuals are randomly selected from a pool of volunteers, allowing decision-makers to hear from a wider, more diverse range of community members. The process facilitates transparent communication between community members and decision-makers by allowing both parties to share their perspectives, concerns and goals.

Recommendations from the assembly are not usually binding, but the process includes a structure for decision-makers to report back publicly on how certain recommendations were implemented and why certain recommendations may not have been chosen. The transparent reporting of recommendations and outcomes further allows media, stakeholders and voters to monitor progress, support action and hold decision-makers accountable. 

Town of Gibsons Residents Assembly

Gibs Assembly

​RPHI partnered with the Town of Gibsons to convene one of these residents' assemblies, as we aim to understand how this engagement model functions in a smaller community setting.

The Town of Gibsons Residents Assembly was a representative body of 25 residents, selected through a civic lottery, who provided feedback to Council on the Town of Gibsons’ Official Community Plan (OCP) update. The Assembly met over five Sundays from February to May to hear and learn from their neighbours, experts and other community voices, working through trade-offs and engaging in deliberative dialogue to create recommendations for the Town of Gibsons' new OCP.


Watch the presentation of the Gibsons Residents Assembly to Gibsons Town Council

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