TDH: 7/12/11

City soliciting people powered input

TDH: 7/12/11
Photo courtesy Flickr user trawin [CC]

We’ve mentioned the ongoing work at SpeakUpAustin.org before, but the city’s community portal has recently hit a new landmark: garnering over 700 individual users registered on the site.

One topic that’s repeatedly emerged on the site is bicycling  – so much so that the city recently launched a page dedicated to the subject, providing an overview of the city’s bike connectivity and issues, and asking after what works and what doesn’t for cyclists. Conversely, another topic the COA’s focused on lately has been city cemeteries, offering a host of proposals that could potentially be incorporated in contracts for upkeep, yet they haven’t gained much traction so far, truth be told.

That said, the site is providing an innovative avenue for input, especially as budget season begins to wind down. Larry Schooler, the city’s community engagement consultant, writes the Hustle to say “We have a lot of commentary flowing here, and there's also a lot on the main page. We don't yet know where this will take us but we don't know of many (if any) other cities doing some quite like this.”

… In other outreach news, we see while we were away, City Manager Marc Ott got his blog on, welcoming Kathie Tovo to the council, thanking Randi Shade for her service, and touting a few community projects himself. First up is Code for America, which he bills as “a sort of AmeriCorps for techies – you give a year of paid service toward developing technology solutions for local government, and those innovations are in turn shared with governments around the country.” He also touts CityWorks Academy, the citywide, cross-department educational program, in its third year and currently accepting applications; and the ongoing Imagine Austin comprehensive plan, the draft version of which will be further revised in the late summer and early fall.

Anything else I missed?

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

The Daily Hustle, City Staff, Comprehensive Plan, Marc Ott, SpeakUpAustin.org, Larry Schooler, Code for America, CityWorks Academy

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