Why is the City of Bellingham engaging online?

    In light of the limitations on in-person meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City is using Engage Bellingham to engage the community on various City-sponsored projects, planning processes and programs. After the pandemic emergency has ended, the City will continue using Engage Bellingham to reach a broad cross section of community voices. Feedback collected through this site will supplement other in-person engagement opportunities, including open houses and focus groups. 

    Engage Bellingham gives people the opportunity to have their say on issues that are important to them, at a time and place of their choice. An online platform for feedback is a quick, easy way for community members to engage in City decision-making processes.

    How do I submit my feedback?

    You can submit your feedback via the quick polls, surveys and other engagement tools on each of the active project pages.

    To participate for the first time, simply:

    • Sign up for Engage Bellingham by clicking on the “Register” or "Sign Up to Engage" buttons on any page
    • Choose a username and password and enter your email address
    • Answer a few questions, most of which are optional
    • Validate your email address via an email that you will receive
    • Return to the Engage Bellingham and click the "Sign In" button

    Why do I need to register in order to make a comment?

    While registration is not required to access Engage Bellingham, it is necessary for many of the more interactive engagement opportunities. We ask you to register for a few reasons:

    • It helps us better understand if the feedback we receive accurately represents the demographics of our city and see which groups might not be well represented, so that we can reach more people in the future.
    • It promotes accountability and encourages people to provide more thoughtful responses because feedback can be attributed to them.
    • It also means that we can send you updates about the projects you engage with and let you know when new projects you might be interested in are posted.

    What happens to my feedback/comments/questions?

    The answer to this question varies by project, but, in general, the feedback collected through Engage Bellingham will be reviewed by staff and provided, via a summary report, to decision makers during planning and project development processes.

    Often times, feedback provided through this site will be used in conjunction with other public comments submitted through required (e.g. public hearings) and supplemental engagement opportunities (e.g. stakeholder interviews and open houses).

    All feedback will be considered; however, this does not mean that every suggestion will affect the project or be adopted as proposed.

    Note: Email addresses, other profile information and content created in the course of interacting with the site are subject to public records/public disclosure requirements of RCW 42.56.

    Is my privacy protected?

    Yes. Your privacy is protected, and the City will only use your email to contact you with updates and to invite you to participate in consultations.

    No third parties have access to or will be provided with your details. For more information, please read the platform Privacy Policy

    Who can I contact if I have questions about Engage Bellingham?

    If you have any questions about Engage Bellingham, please send an email to engage@cob.org.

    For questions about specific project pages, please contact the project manager(s). Contact information can be found in the "Who's Listening" section on each project page.

    Since this platform is new to the City of Bellingham, please be patient with us as we continue to make improvements to help it function better for both residents and staff.

    What rules does the City have around etiquette and how are discussion forums moderated?

    We want to keep it positive! While you may not agree with all comments submitted, we ask that you respect another individual's experience, perspective and opinion.  

    All public comments are moderated 24 hours a day, seven days a week for inappropriate language and comments that disrespect other participants or are off topic. 

    All moderation is carried out by Bang the Table and is independent to the City of Bellingham. The moderators do not edit or alter any comments and will only remove comments deemed to be significantly off topic, offensive or malicious, in which case they are removed from the site immediately and the person who posted the comment is advised by email.

    Visit Bang the Table's moderation page for more information.