Would an online forum improve citizen engagement with City Council?
February 6, 2010 2:32 PM   Subscribe

I'm searching for examples of City Councils that incorporate technology into the process, specifically things like online forums where citizens can discuss issues.

I've had the opportunity over the past couple years to get more involved in local politics and attend some City Council meetings. I am probably technologically-biased, but I find the entire process of traditional city council meetings to be tedious, old-school and antiquated. (not that it doesn't work.. but I think it could be much improved).

I'd like to begin researching the benefits of integrating some technology into the process, for example: having an online forum where citizens can discuss issues, or using social networking tools to better engage the public. With the long term goal (if research is successful) to bring a proposal to my local City Council.

The roadblocks I anticipate running into would be that traditional city council environment is made up of non-technical people,.. and a heritage of bureaucracy and politics.

I found a link to E-democracy.org .. which has forums,.. but I'd also like to see specific City Council websites that host their own forums. Are my searches coming up short because I should be searching on "civic engagement" ?..
posted by jmnugent to Law & Government (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Or better yet... any studies or success stories of technology being used to improve civic engagement. ( I could read multiple reports and pull out strategies that might be applicable to my local scene).
posted by jmnugent at 2:36 PM on February 6, 2010

The San Jose City Council doesn't have a forum, but they do transmit and archive council meetings using a variety of online technologies going back at least five years. Councilmember Pete Constant uses many of the common social networking sites and is testing an iPhone app to report issues in his district.
posted by JDC8 at 11:52 AM on February 7, 2010

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