An article on CivicSource, a web portal for civic engagement, tells us that we need to take the engagement in civic engagement seriously.
Katie James, UIC Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement staff member posted last week about a framework that was developed to understand how citizens can be more responsive and reactive, and how democracy should be more interactive. Read the full report by University of Illinois at Chicago's Anthony Simon Laden, Ph.D. of the Department of Philosophy here.
“A democratic society is more than a state with a popularly elected (i.e. democratic) government. It is also, crucially, a society whose members relate to one another and to their government as citizens. Citizens see one another as free and equal, and collectively constituting the authority to govern themselves.”
Programs that hope to enable citizens and their representatives to communicate openly about the issues and policies need to ensure they are hosting rather than conducting communication. Laden offers some qualifying questions to determine a program’s framework for true civic engagement:
1) Who designed the program and who has a voice in its development going forward?
2) Who is trusted with the tasks or components of administration or maintenance?
3) What knowledge do each involved parties or groups bring?
4) Who is the “we” the program is addressing or advocating for?
5) What is the mechanism by which rejection and criticism is heard and taken up?
6) What are the models or standards of excellence for the activities being undertaken?
7) What is the result and how will it continue?
At Next Step Citizen, we are providing examples of how to utilize the tools and resources from the internet and social media. YOU are the voice that will develop our progress. YOU decide how we maintain our site and YOU administer your own posts and submissions. YOU tell us what knowledge you have and share the knowledge you’ve encountered. WE are NYC voters and residents that want to be more engaged in our local city politics. YOU are in control of your own web presence and YOUR perspective on the issues and articles we present will appear on our pages. YOUR input and insight will determine how we are meeting our standards and goals. YOUR voice, vision and vote determine the result of the NYC2013 election. How are YOU transforming social media for local politics in NYC?