Thursday, January 27, 2011

Civic Engagement: What Can Councillors Do? Part One

As stated previously, I believe that the only authentic way to improve local governance on a long-term basis is to 'increase the relationship of engagement between the residents and their Councillors'.

The direction of the engagement is paramount. It has to come from the citizenry to be authentic and longstanding. The primary impetus has to come from us.

However, I also believe that Councillors must do what they can do to help build this new relationship of engagement. Here's my first suggestion towards this end.

A Councillor should have an effective blog or site.

We are now in 2011. The landscape regarding staying in touch with residents has changed drastically over the past 15 years. No longer is a paper newsletter or pamphlet or flyer on its own a reasonable default. I put it this way because I recognize that not everyone has online access. (I should add that electronic newsletters and mass emailings fall under the umbrella of a blog or site.)

If a Councillor does not an effective blog or site, then I'd question their sincerity in wanting to promote communication with their constituents, to contribute to this increase in the relationship of engagement.

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I'm always interested in feedback, differing opinions, even contrarian long as they're delivered with decorum...with panache and flair always helping.