Make it easier to participate

jyasskin's picture

Several city government meetings, especially the Muni board meetings, are held on week days, during business hours. This makes it hard for working people to attend them. Instead, the meetings should be held in evenings and on weekends, when more people can attend. It should also be possible to submit questions and comments online, with a record of what answer was given, so that people don't have to be physically present to participate. http://www.google.com/moderator/ might help.

ExcelsiorMom's picture

I like the idea of being able

I like the idea of being able to ask questions on-line.  I wouldn't want to spend a whole lot of tax money on setting up the technology, but if it could be done cheaply, it seems like a great idea.

bobbyh's picture

Great idea

This has been an issue for some time, and results in usually only side of the story presented (the side that can organize 20 people to wait at City Hall for hours to comment at a Board meeting). Most of us can't do that. You can FYI, send in emails or letters to the Board and those comments get recorded in what's called Petitions and Communications.  Email address is: Board.of.Supervisors@sfgov.org

But I like the idea of a live online comment period, where when it is time for public comment, they queue an online "line" for people to (maybe even via webcast into the Board chambers?) make their comments. That would give more people the opportunity to participate, but until then, email your thoughts to the Board via the address above.  Also FYI, you can see a record of your email on the Board agendas each week under the aforementioned "Petitions and Communications" section listed at the end of the agendas, which are located here: http://www.sfbos.org/meeting.aspx?page=2315

Hope this helps.

Phil Ting's picture

Online Discussion

I know when we did our Ask An Expert sessions, what made them interesting was having an online forum as well as questions which were live and streaming.  I think its a great to have live streaming questions as well as having the ability for residents to communicate and interact with each other during the discussion.  It was my only regret that I was not able to see the dialogue as I was doing Ask An Expert. 

Gov 2.0

I know some cities are starting to institute Gov 2.0 initiatives where you can text or Tweet things that you see around the city, like potholes, and then are able to send them to the correct city agency to have that information recorded and dealt with almost instantaneously. Now that's necessarily a type of involvement where you are engaging in a discussion, but it is something where you are actively making positive changes  in the city.

Phil Ting's picture

We need more Gov 2.0

Those are great ideas which the city is starting to implement.  DPW has a Twitter account and you can call in potholes to 311.  However, we need to take it to the next level.  Right now, you can tell government what you want, but you have no idea what they do with your request.  We need to go from a one way conversation to a two way conversation.  That's why we're trying to model Reset San Francisco as a way to discuss rather than report ideas. 

Is there any software out there we should be looking at?

Phil Ting's picture

We need more Gov 2.0

Those are great ideas which the city is starting to implement.  DPW has a Twitter account and you can call in potholes to 311.  However, we need to take it to the next level.  Right now, you can tell government what you want, but you have no idea what they do with your request.  We need to go from a one way conversation to a two way conversation.  That's why we're trying to model Reset San Francisco as a way to discuss rather than report ideas. 

Is there any software out there we should be looking at?

jyasskin's picture

Open311?

There's http://open311.org/, which SF is already starting to use. 

Paid for by Phil Ting for Assembly 2012. FPPC ID# 1343137