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
Other revenue
Needs to be published and available

Public library computer access – training for city website usage

    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

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