E-democracy in PittsburghEdit
E-democracy is the use of our new communication technologies to include citizens in the democratic process. Pittsburgh needs a citizen-based model to partner with a tech-centric Mayor's Administration to create and facilitate an online public space in the heart of real civic life.
Local E-democracy worksEdit
In the UK, a national project is funding a local issues forums with E-Democracy.Org. As far as we can tell, this low-cost, citizen-based model seems to work very well once implemented. Efforts with e-democracy can be sustainable.
Forum success is contingent on finding a local Forum Managers and a few citizens to help recruit a critical mass of citizen participants, including local public officials and journalists. Without a true local base of participants and facilitation, all you have is a digital ghost town.
The Mayor of Minneapolis and other communities in Minnesota have many volunteers who have leveraged great interactions on the internet about local government issues.
The e-democracy efforts are extremely low cost and volunteer-based. Materials reside online and are free.
The city can provide training, assistance, and the essential forum facilitation framework through a local Forum Manager and citizen steering committee. The new open source GroupServer technology will help us bring together a critical mass of local citizens by combining the best features of e-mail lists with user-friendly web forums
Pittsburgh's future depends upon the informed and active participation of its citizens. Pittsburgh must turn the tide and change from its past as a city where closed door deals were struck. Pittsburgh's legacy of a "done-deal attitude" hinders our pathway to the best solutions. The city's leaders need to extend the citizen's right to know by giving adequate notice of proposed actions, holding open meetings and making public records accessible.
Every citizen should be protected in the right to vote.Edit
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