Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword or section
Like this
24Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Engaging Citizens in Government - Fall 2009

Engaging Citizens in Government - Fall 2009

Ratings: (0)|Views: 743|Likes:
Published by Lisa Nelson
The Intergovernmental Solutions Newsletter on Engaging Citizens in Government is now available from the GSA Office of Citizen Services and Communications. This edition presents the views of 24 trendsetting IT leaders of nations, states, federal agencies, and municipalities and thought leaders who are working to ensure openness in Government.

The many contributors include:

Katie Stanton, Director of Citizen Participation, The White House
Andrew Stott, Director of Digital Engagement, United Kingdom
Lena Trudeau and Frank Reeder, National Academy of Public Administration
P.K. Agarwal, Chief Technology Officer, State of California
Carolyn Lukensmeyer, President and Founder, AmericaSpeaks
Jan Schaffer, Executive Director, J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism
Dave Molchany, Deputy County Executive, Fairfax County, Virginia
Pew Internet and American Life Project
Ohio Secretary of State's Office
The Intergovernmental Solutions Newsletter on Engaging Citizens in Government is now available from the GSA Office of Citizen Services and Communications. This edition presents the views of 24 trendsetting IT leaders of nations, states, federal agencies, and municipalities and thought leaders who are working to ensure openness in Government.

The many contributors include:

Katie Stanton, Director of Citizen Participation, The White House
Andrew Stott, Director of Digital Engagement, United Kingdom
Lena Trudeau and Frank Reeder, National Academy of Public Administration
P.K. Agarwal, Chief Technology Officer, State of California
Carolyn Lukensmeyer, President and Founder, AmericaSpeaks
Jan Schaffer, Executive Director, J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism
Dave Molchany, Deputy County Executive, Fairfax County, Virginia
Pew Internet and American Life Project
Ohio Secretary of State's Office

More info:

Published by: Lisa Nelson on Oct 01, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

07/19/2013

pdf

text

original

 
Intergovernmental Solutions Newsletter
GSA Office of Citizen Services and Communications
Fall 2009
The Intergovernmental Solutions Newsletter is produced twice a year by the Center for Intergovernmental Solutions, GSA Office of Citizens Services and Communications; Lisa Nelson,Editor. Send comments and suggestions to:lisa.nelson@gsa.gov.
Increasing Citizen Engagementin Government . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1By the People, For the People . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4Citizen Engagement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5National Dialogues Build Communities . . . . . . .7Believable Change:A Reality Check on Online Participation? . . . . .9Reinventing “We the People” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11Data is Not Democracy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13Could Citizens Run the White House Online? .16E-Petitions Preservesan Old British Tradition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18My
better 
Estonia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20Participatory Lawmaking in Brazil . . . . . . . . . . .22Brazil and Argentina: From ParticipatoryBudgeting to e-Participatory Budgeting . . . . . .23Pew: Well-off and Well-educatedAre More Likely to Engage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25Public Engagement onFairfax County’s Budget . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26Citizen Engagement in Oakland County . . . . . .27Washington Goes to Mr. Smith:The Changing Role of Citizensin Policy Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28Ohio Redistricting Competition . . . . . . . . . . . . .30Planning for Citizen Engagement . . . . . . . . . . . .32Potholes and PDAs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34New Media MakersPioneer Novel Forms of News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35Putting Your Audience to Work:EPA’s Radon Video Contest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37A Millennial Model of Civic Engagement . . . . .38Emerging Themes for EffectiveOnline Citizen Engagement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40The Importance of Open Web Standardsin the Move to Open and TransparentGovernment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42
See the Spring 2009 Intergovernmental Solutions Newsletteron
Transparency and Open Government
A
bout 2500 years before the Internet Age, Athenians developed asystem of self-government they called democracy, which reliedon active citizen participation for direction and decision-making.A few millennia later, the founding fathers of the United States built acountry around the proposition that government must be responsive tothe needs of its citizens. They knew that, for democracy to flourish,citizens must take an active part in public life, sharing their ideas andopening their minds to the opinions of others, and taking ownership inthe well-being of the country.The arrival of the Internet created new opportunities for citizenengagement through its powerful ability to organize. Online townmeetings, social media, chat rooms, bulletin boards, deliberativeprocesses for e-rulemaking, and feedback mechanisms that sort inputfrom public meetings are examples of inexpensive mechanisms forsoliciting citizen input. All of these tools have a positive impact on publicpolicy development because when people get involved everyone learnsfrom each other, relationships are built, trust is established and the finaloutcome improved.Connecting to the Internet has become easier than ever. The members oftoday’s digital generation have grown up with phones in their pocketsand expect a government that attends to their needs 24/7. Newapplications appear daily and allow users to create, share and linkcontent. These new applications intersect with the Internet but alsoreach beyond it.As civic participation online grows, so does the public’s understandingof what is behind government policies and processes and so does thegovernment’s understanding of the diverse public views and knowledgeabout complex problems. Online engagement also helps buildcommunities around the issues that people find important, letting thecommunity members interact with each other, and eliminates barriersassociated with physical distance and travel costs and other
Increasing CitizenEngagement in Government
By Darlene MeskellDirector, Intergovernmental SolutionsGSA Office of Citizen Services and Communications
Engaging Citizensin Government
 
2
impediments facing citizens who want to have their voicesheard.GSA’s Intergovernmental Solutions has compiled thesecontributions from governments, advocacy groups andacademia to show how the use of the Internet to facilitateopen government is already making a difference across thecountry and around the world. Following is a run-down ofthe stories they tell.When people have the opportunity to contribute ideas andopinions to government decision-making processes theyare empowered to mobilize and become involved with realinitiatives on a national level and in their communities.Echoing Abraham Lincoln in
By the People, for thePeople
, Katie Stanton, the new U.S. director of CitizenParticipation, discusses the online engagement practicesthe Obama Administration has used to change thelandscape from one where citizens are viewed as“customers” to one in which they have a personal stake.The United Kingdom has made great strides shifting theparadigm from government communication to citizens toone of collaboration with the public. In
CitizenEngagement
, Andrew Stott, the U.K.’s new director ofDigital Government, describes their journey to use theInternet to give citizens a voice. The potential of theInternet for public engagement is just beginning to betapped and we are already seeing its impact on thedemocratic process. During fiscal year 2009 the NationalAcademy of Public Administration conducted four onlinepublic dialogues on topics ranging from the very focuseddialogue on the recovery.gov website to the much broaderquadrennial homeland security review. NAPA’s experiencein this area informs a discussion of how
NationalDialogues Build Communities
but leads its LenaTrudeau to counsel that governance is still the province ofgovernments, which cannot delegate their responsibilitiesto the crowd.In
Believable Change: A Reality Check on OnlineParticipation
, Jed Miller, Internet Director at the RevenueWatch Institute, reminds us we still have a long way to gobefore the tools are ready and institutions and individualscan turn the optimism into actual operational change.Drawing a parallel between the evolution of IT and theInternet, California Chief Technology Officer P.K. Agarwal,in
Reinventing “We the People,”
envisions how civicengagement will be improved through the evolution ofmobile appliances and wireless technologies. Whiletechnology and other tools are essential to participatorygovernment, Carolyn Lukensmeyer of America
Speaks
cautions that
Data is Not Democracy 
and that civicparticipation still calls for in-person interpersonalengagement.Imagine how the White House might work if it were run bythousands of people over the Internet.
Could CitizensRun the White House Online?
describes what happenson a website that simulates setting Administrationpriorities by crowdsourcing. In a somewhat more tradition-bound practice, the U.K. has digitized its long-standingcustom whereby the prime minister accepts citizen-generated petitions for changes to government policies orpractices.
E-Petitions Preserves an Old BritishTradition
. Posting these petitions along with the primeminister’s response has enlivened the interaction betweencitizens and their government.Other countries are also inviting online participation.Estonia, a Baltic nation that was once a part of the SovietUnion, has created a Web-based e-participation portal that
Wordle created athttp://www.wordle.net/
 
3
promotes active citizen engagement in the nationallegislative process.
My 
better
Estonia
shows the progressthat has been made using this forum for citizens to discusslegislative proposals. The Brazilian House ofRepresentatives recently launched the e-Democraciaproject to engage citizens in the legislative process.
E-participatory Lawmaking in Brazil
looks at theapproach Brazil is taking to open the debate on law-making. Elsewhere in that country, participatory budgetingallows citizens to influence budget allocations made bytheir government and has a big impact on the lives ofcitizens.
Brazil and Argentina: From Participatory Budgeting to e-Participatory Budgeting
examineswhether this experiment can live up to expectations. Backin the United States, the Pew internet and American LifeProject reports that the
Well-off and Well-educated AreMore Likely to Engage
with the government online—andoff.Attempts to bring citizens into policy-making are commonon the local level, but federal and state agencies also aresoliciting public participation in policy development. WhenFairfax County, Virginia, faced a revenue shortfall of$650,000 million for fiscal year 2010, the county turned to itscitizens for help. Through face-to-face meetings, anextensive media campaign and outreach program, and useof social media,
Public Engagement in FairfaxCounty’s FY 2010 Budget
helped create a budget thatwas acceptable to the community. In
Citizen Engagementand E-Government
, Oakland County, Michigan’s PhilBertolini provides real-world examples of how e-government and Web 2.0 functionality enable, support ,anddeepen citizen engagement at the local level.In
Washington Goes to Mr. Smith: The ChangingRole of Citizens in Policy Development
, MattLeighninger of the Deliberative Democracy Forum reportslessons learned from several federal agency programs onhow governments can work productively with citizensonline. In one of the most impressive examples of theimpact of Web-enabled democracy, the State of Ohioinvited citizens to participate in an
Ohio RedistrictingCompetition
to design a legislative redistricting plan.When three winning entries proved to be more fair andequitable than the State Legislature’s version, anamendment to the State Constitution was drawn up topermanently change the way districts are apportioned inthe future.
Planning for Citizen Engagement
offers advice for ruralcommunities on how to engage more citizens in thedecision making process. In Worchester, Massachusetts,citizens roam the streets each weekend carrying handheldcomputers and digital cameras looking for potholes,abandoned vehicles and other public nuisances and reportthem to the appropriate government agency.
Potholes andPDAs
highlights creative ways local governments arecollaborating with citizens to improve service delivery forthe benefit of the entire community.Civic Journalism is helping ordinary people engage moredeeply within their communities, as
New Media MakersPioneer Novel Forms of News
. Jan Schaffer, director ofthe Institute for Innovative Journalism, looks at how thisphenomenon—fed by the rapid economic decline oftraditional news organizations—Is providing communitieswith reliable, accurate and independent information.Contests, too, bring out the innovators. When theEnvironmental Protection Agency needed a fresh new wayto get the word out about the dangers of naturally occurringradon gas, it designed a video-production contest to recruitcreative citizens to help spread this critical public healthmessage.
Putting Your Audience to Work: EPA’sRadon Video Contest
gives the results.Many members of the generations born after the Internetare working hard to bring about meaningful change in theircommunities. Two of them created
 A Millennial Model of Citizen Engagement
. Kim Kobza of NeighborhoodAmerica identifies
Emerging Themes for EffectiveOnline Citizen Engagement
that include having a clearsense of purpose, sensitivity to human motivators, anetwork perspective, and a willingness to relax traditionalrules.So we won’t forget the ongoing worldwide collaboration tocreate universal standards that makes open governmentfeasible,
The Importance of Open Web Standards for Open and Transparent Government
emphasizes theimportance of available and accessible interfaces andtools, so that what is saved, discoverable, archived andmanaged will be available in the future on demand.Countries around the world are creating opportunities forcitizens to participate in government. The Web is fosteringbetter communications and allows people to participate inimproving the operations of their government. Byharnessing the collaborative nature of the Web, democraticgovernments are engaging the public like never before. Inthe memorable words of folksinger Pete Seeger, whosingle-handedly inspired the citizens’ campaign thatsuccessfully cleaned up the Hudson River in New YorkState: “Participation—that’s what’s gonna save the humanrace.”
 Darlene Meskell is the Director of the GSA Center for Intergovernmental Solutions in the GSA Office of Citizen Servicesand Communications.

Activity (24)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 hundred reads
1 thousand reads
Lisa Nelson liked this
Lisa Nelson liked this
Lisa Nelson liked this
Lisa Nelson liked this
Lisa Nelson liked this
Lisa Nelson liked this
Lisa Nelson liked this
Lisa Nelson liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->