An article in this morning's Washington Post notes that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is offering protesters at the upcoming Republican Convention some advice on how to spend their time there - go shopping. This is yet another unfortunate example of a public leader treating people as consumers rather than citizens, though quotes from protestors indicate that, even as marketing, the announcement fails. On a more positive note, in Huntington, NY town planners are demonstrating a good instinct when opting to hold small-group discussions to gather information before updating the community's master plan. Their initiative, which they call a "visioning process," taps into a deep desire among people in our topsy-turvy world: to be genuinely heard. You can read more about this effort in a piece I wrote for Newsday, which you can find here.