We say we do.
We all learned in civics class that in order to have a functioning democracy we need everyone to participate and get involved in civic affairs.
We read books and articles that tell us decisions that come from large groups are better than decision made by any single individual in the group.
But when we attend a community meeting, planning meeting or City Council hearing we usually don’t see the chaos in the picture and instead find that only a handful of people actually stand up and participate. Luckily there are a number of new technology companies that are stepping in to help make public engagement more meaningful and effective. For example, Connect PB, is a site created by Crowdbrite that was recently used for outreach to Pacific Beach residents which allowed site visitors to vote on topics online and increase local participation.
In the coming weeks, NST will be discussing new strategies and technologies that will not only increase citizen participation but also give us the opportunity to better engage our communities.