The best part about being a scholar is the chance to team up with brilliant researchers to investigate pressing issues. These collaborations have lead to two recent publications on which I am second author. They are:
Golan, G., and Munno, G. (2014). The framing of Latin America in elite U.S. media: An analysis of editorials and op-eds. Newspaper Research Journal, 35(1).
Nabatchi, T., and Munno, G. (2014). Deliberative civic engagement: Connecting public voices to public governance. In P. Levine and K. Soltan (eds.), Civic Studies. Washington, D.C.: Association of American Colleges and Universities, Bringing Theory to Practice Program.
The sweet spot in any engagement project is when it inspires grassroots involvement and leadership. That’s what has happened with the Auburn Community Cafes, a project that grew out of the ABC Cayuga project I am managing for the Allyn Foundation.
The ABC Cayuga project team identified the Cafes as key to its efforts to build social connections and social capital among Auburn parents. The Gavras Center and Auburn YMCA took the lead on writing and winning a state grant to recruit and train parents to run the Cafes, and to provide the parents with money to arrange for things like food and childcare at the Cafes themselves. Since then, the parent volunteers have completely taken over, making the Cafes their own.
I’m honored to have been a part of a dynamic deliberation today with about 80 citizens. We discussed the essential elements of constructive, productive and civil public meetings. Check out my posts on CNYSpeaks.com Thank you to FOCUS Greater Syracuse and everyone who participated.
That’s the topic of the CNYSpeaks forum we have been working on with FOCUS Greater Syracuse. The free, public event is from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Friday, Feb. 18, at City Hall Commons, 201 E. Washington St., Syracuse. Please attend if you can — you do not need to register in advance. Participants will work in small groups with CNYSpeaks-trained facilitators to explore the elements required for effective public meetings.
CNYSpeaks and FOCUS Greater Syracuse to Host A Forum on Civil Civic Discourse Free Public Event to be held at 7:30 a.m. Friday, Feb . 18, at City Hall Commons
CNYSpeaks and FOCUS Greater Syracuse want to collaborate with YOU — the citizens of Central New York — to find ways to make public hearings and meetings more civil, constructive and productive.
Combative school board sessions and angry town hall meetings on health care have obscured the fact that public officials and citizens must work together to solve the complex problems we face here in Central New York and across the country.
Yet public officials are given little guidance on just how to structure public meetings to ensure that citizens are heard, and citizens have little guidance about how they should behave at those meetings to ensure that their interests are understood and that the meetings are safe and productive.
On Feb. 18, FOCUS Greater Syracuse will devote its monthly Core Group meeting to exploring this topic, with the goal of hearing from citizens about how they believe public meetings can be better designed to be productive, civil, and effective.
The forum, which is free and open to all, will run from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at City Hall Commons, 201 E. Washington St., Syracuse.
With a population of less than 5,000 and a median household income of around $50,000, Manor, Texas, is an unlikely place to find the cutting edge of government e-participation technologies.
But thanks to a young and enterprising Assistant City Manager (Dustin Haisler, now of Spigit), Manor has attracted significant investment from a variety of firms eager to demonstrate the utility of their technologies. As a result, this small Texas town has a variety of e-participation tools that should be the envy of much larger communities. It also has the savvy to institute the policies and processes needed for Manor’s bureaucracy to effectively utilize the citizen input it receives through those platforms.
So, what makes the Manor e-participation system so effective, in addition to all the fancy tools?
Headd’s presentation focused on a growing movement to make all sorts of data available online. Many people interested in open government and citizen participation, including myself, applaud these data releases, but worry about how to make the information easily digestible and useful to the average citizen.
Headd has a completely different take. He wants to see government release the data in the most complete and raw form possible, and then let Open Source programmers take care of the rest. He calls it, “the Democratization of Code,” and it is essentially a way for the marketplace to make the most of government data by finding innovative ways to make it useful to citizens. Continue reading “Open Government Effort Powered by Twitter”→