6 Responses to “New Report: Engaging Citizens in Government”

  1. Norman M. Macdonald Says:

    The statement in the Democratic platform is on the mark. It reflects some of my experiences with the reinventing government efforts which involved various level’s of government plus various other entities. What the Feds brought to the table was the ability to circumvent their rules that did not have the force of law – about 80% of the rules. In my area, federal lands, most of these organizations are alive and evolving. This is an excellent base to use as a starting point.

  2. policypitch Says:

    Check out http://www.PolicyPitch.com, a platform for civic engagement at the local level.

  3. Joyce Fitzpatrick Says:

    As a mediator and advocate for alternative dispute resolution practices at all levels of government and in our communities, I am interested in any new direction the 2008 transition team is making toward creating an office/board/committee to further means toward resolving conflicts using ADR in our federal, state and local governments as well as in our communites.
    Does Mr. Kamensky have any knowledge of such a move?

  4. John Kamensky Says:

    Joyce — The federal ADR network has been discussed by knowledgable advocats for increased citizen involvement as a potential foundation for these proposed broader citizen engagement initiatives. The existing network is widely distributed, engaged, and could provide some initial leadership. I don’t know if this is being examined by the transition at this point, given some of the really big challenges the new Administration will be facing, but there is a good chance that once a more nuanced look is given, there is a good chance the federal ADR community may be asked to provide both insights and leadership.

  5. rondar Says:

    I’d like to also see a few ordinary citizens be involved in policy meetings via Web cam. These ‘Citizen Advisors’ would sit along side policy experts, academics, goverment officials, business and organizational leaders when important policy discussions take place.

    Experts and high-ranking officials should definitely be at policy discussions and can present information not readily available from the ordinary citizen. But as we know, sometimes the full understanding of an issue lies outside of research, reports, figures and the like.

    Citizen Advisors would be ordinary people who know an issue because they live the issue. For a Citizen Advisor their credentials don’t come from University diplomas or impressive job titles. Rather their credentials are earned by what they face in their every-day life. Sitting along side experts and officials who usually discuss these issues, the Citizen Advisor would give a fuller perspective on an issue they know and live.

    Citizen Advisors would come from all across the country, from all walks of life, and give voice to the common person. Citizen Advisors might not be able to partake in every issue, such as national security, but there are many issues to which they can speak.

  6. John Kamensky Says:

    Dear Rondar — Citizen advisors sounds like an interesting approach. Another approach that engages a broader group of citizens seems to be underway by the Obama Transition. In this morning’s Washington Post, “Obama Policymakers Turn to Campaign Tools,” HHS Sec.-Designee Daschle is reported as having launched a 1,000 person conference call on health care reform: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/03/AR2008120303829.html?hpid=topnews

    Should be interesting to see the various new approaches to citizen engagement that will likely evolve in coming months in the new Administration.

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