Hey PolicyPitch readers, members and supporters! This is my first post here as a member of the PolicyPitch team, one of many I hope. Since PolicyPitch provides a way for citizens like you and me to get involved in our communities, I thought it would be interesting to look at something that affects all of our U.S. readers, whether they know it or not: access to federal court filings and documents, and the cost associated with that access. The next step, of course, is to see what kinds of ideas we can put together to pitch to our local and national leaders to effectively address the shortfalls in the current system. That’s what PolicyPitch members are doing on a daily basis, and it’s something I hope gains a great deal of traction and can assist in more citizen involvement in politics and policy. Continue reading
Category Archives: government 2.0
Guest Post by Tom Steinberg on Wednesday, January 7th, 2009 at MySociety.org
To: Anyone thinking of running any reasonably developed country, any time soon.
The most scary thing about the Internet for your government is not pedophiles, terrorists or viruses, whatever you may have read in the papers. It is the danger of your administration being silently obsoleted by the lightening pace at which the Internet changes expectations. I’m not going to give examples of this change, others can do this far better than I. But you don’t need experts’ advice to tell which way the wind blows – if you can’t find any examples of changing expectations in your own life, driven by the internet, I can’t help you anyway: please point me to your successor.
This is a list of the top 5 major things any government of any developed nation should be doing in relation to the Internet, as I see it at the start of 2009. They are not in any order, and do not lack ambition – they are for the Next Government, after all.
The mayor of San Diego is seeking public input on new policies for the city, beginning with budget suggestions on how the city can address the current economic crises. The Mayor’s website states that “each of your suggestions will be reviewed carefully by my staff. They may also be forwarded to department directors and members of our financial management team.”
In addition to just soliciting policy recommendations, some of the suggestions will be posted online for “the goal of sharing ideas and elevating our civic dialogue.” While posting the submissions online is certainly a step in the right direction for transparency, will the mayor’s efforts produce results?
So far, policy suggestions include ending car allowances for elected officials, reducing the number of firefighters per truck, and legalizing marijuana. Another suggestion calls for the city to “stop enforcing the booze ban”:
Stop enforcing the booze ban
I have lived in Mission Beach for two years, and since the ban on alcohol went into effect last year, I have watched numerous policemen heckle beach-goers about what liquids are in their cups. It seems as if the amount of police patrol has actually increased since the ban began, which makes me wonder, “Why are you wasting so many tax payer dollars patrolling a beach, and hassling its patrons?” The policemen are on ATV’s, on bicycles, and standing on the boardwalk… there are so many, that you cannot turn a corner without seeing one. It is a blatant waste of money which the city claims to be necessary for the “good” of the people, I see it as superfluous and outright ridiculous. Send them to areas of San Diego which have real crime issues- not just a bunch of drunks in bikinis- or spend your money elsewhere.
While seeking policy suggestions from the city’s residents is laudable, the question remains whether the submissions will have any real influence on the city’s policy. We will have to wait and see.