Getting involved in open government

Getting involved in open government


Hey, we're seeing more actual progress, moving ahead, real stuff.

Update from the people doing the heavy lifting: Enhancing Citizen Participation in Decision-Making

Transparency, a concept we have discussed a lot in the Open Government Initiative, is
a means to an end.  One of the important roles that transparency plays
is to facilitate public participation in government decision-making. 
As President Obama has said: "Our commitment to openness means more
than simply informing the American people about how decisions are made.
It means recognizing that government does not have all the answers and
that public officials need to draw on what citizens know. "

How You Can Help

Building on the ideas generated during the Brainstorm, we’d like to ask for your input on a few specific topics:

1. Digging deeper into the Brainstorm:
What are the pros and cons of the ideas proposed during the
Brainstorm?  Help us to flesh out specifics and weigh the costs and
benefits of each approach.  Are there important ideas for enhancing
citizen participation in government decision-making that you think are
2. Identifying best practices: Do you know of best practices for public
participation currently in place in governments (perhaps a local
government in your community or a foreign government halfway around the
world) or other large institutions that we have not yet identified?
3. Providing incentives for participation: What can government do to
remove barriers and create opportunities for public participation?  How
can we attract new and diverse participants and strengthen their voices
in a conversation traditionally dominated by Washington lawyers,
lobbyists and interest groups?




The discussion happening on that particular post is pretty good quality, too.


Nice post. Open and transparent government is about improving citizen participation and govt transparency as your examples illustrate. Equally important however it is about a two-way conversation: exposing governments to new ideas, helping government officials stay in closer touch with their citizens


Encourage more citizen participation on message boards through public service media announcements and bill boards. Access Sacaramento makes available radio and television programing time for citizens to develop and produce their own programs.
Provide further opportunities for citizens to have ready access to preformated message BOBS [brief opinion bulletin boards] and web sites wheere they can freely comment on local and national and world issues.
Hire a few call takers to take calls from citizens not having computers so their comments can be placed on the preformatted BOBs. Subscriptios to a monthly or quarterly citizens newsletter or magazine can help pay for the costs. Advertising space also provided in the newsletter or magazine.


6/29/09 12:37 PM
A directory of The Common Wisdom can be also circulated, containing the submitted comments of the citizenry in each area, state or country. This will help further popularize citizen participation.
Call takers can be enrolled to work from their homes and both competent seniors and younger persons employed to receive calls and log comments. This will open new job and careeer opportunities for peoples across the country and around the world contributing to further social networking and public morale.

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