To whom it may concern:
My name is Ashley E. Nickels and I am a doctoral candidate in the Department of Public Policy and Administration at Rutgers University- Camden. I am conducting an unfunded study as part of the requirements of my degree in Public Affairs, and would like to invite you to participate.
I am conducting a research project titled, Power, Politics, and Participation: Municipal Takeovers and Local Democracy, in which I examine the political impact of the municipal takeovers in Flint, MI. Municipal takeovers are defined in this study as the state- directed policy of designating a municipality in a state of fiscal crisis and placing it under state receivership and under the management of an emergency [financial] manager. This research project specifically focuses on the lasting impacts of municipal takeover on local governance and local democracy.
If you decide to participate, you will be asked to meet with me for an interview about Flint politics, local decision making, and the recent municipal takeovers. In particular, I will ask questions regarding your personal and organizational background, your understanding of and involvement in Flint politics, and your understanding of and involvement in the municipal takeover policy. I will also ask questions about how you believe the municipal takeover has changed local democratic institutions and the local political environment in Flint.
The meeting will take place at a mutually agreed upon time and place, and should last approximately 90 minutes. In person interviews can be scheduled between June 22 and July 14, 2015 and August 10-14, 2015. Skype or Google Hangout interviews can be arranged if necessary.
Thank you for your consideration. If you would like to participate, please contact me at the number or email listed below. I will follow up with you within the next week to confirm whether you will participate.