An inside look at the City of Long Beach by Gerrie Schipske

Google Alert - open government

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Check Out E-Democracy.org

Check out the website at www.e-democracy.org. This is an effort started by Steven Clift to engage citizens through on line tools.

I really like his concepts of establishing a citywide on line forum which citizens can use to engage and participate in meaningful discussion I am working on a 5th Council District on line forum that if successful could be used citywide. See what Clift has to say about this...

Steven Clift: When you roll up your sleeves you can shape democracy from Knight Foundation on Vimeo.

Monday, February 13, 2012

City adjusts conflict of interest rules

Check out how the City of Glendale is opening up the process for recusing council members who accept money from anyone doing business with the city on contracts over $50,000. Long Beach needs to do the same.

City adjusts conflict of interest rules

Lynne Plambeck: We need openness in campaigns

Openness in government begins with openness in political campaigns. Interesting article below:

Lynne Plambeck: We need openness in campaigns

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Good Start with Open Up Long Beach

We had a good start in launching Open Up Long Beach with our first meeting last week. Not only did residents attend but also our City Clerk, Larry Herrera and our Director of Technology Services, Curtis Tani were there to listen to residents' suggestions of how we can improve access to information about Long Beach.

Below are the notes taken as we brain stormed what is needed:
Website is an information tool and needs to be clearer and publicized
Why is it needed?
Loss of millions to cities (because of the end of RDA)
Residents need information to be easily available
Communication is needed between residents
Increase knowledge and involvement around local issues
    Residents need data and background information – how can we focus and use information effectively?
Need financial disclosures re: elections
Need public contract negotiations with an unbiased, independent negotiator
Source of campaign contributions to local officials
Open meetings

Public event info from one source

More openness about where the money goes
RDA
Other revenue
Needs to be published and available

Public library computer access – training for city website usage

Website
    Include all city council links to follow what is happening and how it is being handled
    Need a visible flow chart of people and departments on the website homepage
      Work with City College students for help and ideas with software/IT/web development
    Post agenda 2 weeks in advance Links to the budget Include web address in newspaper, utility bills, fliers, etc. – exposure Use a focus group to review web design – the residents! Show people how to navigate/what’s currently available on the website

Need to encourage participation by residents
People will engage with an issue that is important to them
Use of wikis
Technologies need to be dynamic, organic

Need to provide people with a sense of confidence
Give people easy access to common information
Reduce budget impact
Provide contact info for related department on each page on website
Implement a search engine function
Connect people with local groups