there requires selected people.
a person who can listen.
understand the problems.
know what they are in real time.
and continue the conversation in the form of policies/laws for the local government.
finally, the accountability will proceed with the citizens holding the words of our leaders accountable.
but, how do we communicate with our leaders about our problems today?
the status quo
we have elected leaders.
they must know what our citizens want.
be in service to others.
and here’s how they communicate about those things to us:
- town hall meetings
typically, it’s town hall meetings.
- they’re high partisan events (bias)
- strong supporters or stark opponents
- leading shouting matches
- free opportunity to spew rhetoric agendas
and these people, with their ideas…
it does not include the minds & problems of every citizen!!
plus, not everyone can make it to those town hall meetings…
if they really knew that their opinion mattered, wouldn’t they make the time to attend them…
even if the alternative is to make a post on X as a way to release their frustration that their leaders don’t & won’t listen to them?
so, now what?
the proof (case studies) || links below
between 2006–2008, a study done from UCR, Ohio State, & Northeastern benchmarkedthe effects of holding online town hall meetings.
the people selected were random samples of constituents who were more representative of eligible voters (congressional districts).*
*(aka they picked them off the street of specific cities within “x” distance from the university campuses.)
they chose an audience of 20–175 people and concentrate the discussion on one policy issue (i.e., immigration for the House sessions and detainee policy for the Senate).
no moderation was done.
the selected citizens could ask any question and a member of the local government would respond to them in real time.
the upsetting conclusions of this experiment was concrete proof that the 21 online town halls held with 13 members of congress affected:
- citizens’ views on specific policy issues (more towards what the member believed);
- citizens’ trust/approval of their member of congress (higher levels of both); and
- how citizens voted (more likely for their member).
see? when you let people tell you what their problems are without interruption/personal agenda, you will solidify transparency & trust of your community. and people believe in you.
and from the co-author michael noblo:
94% of them said they enjoyed the town hall experience and would do it again. members of congress told us they liked the experience, too.
rather than just focusing on their partisan talking points…
they could delve into the issues and explain the merits of their position.
…the internet makes it easier than ever for representatives and their constituents to connect like they did in our town halls.
case study (deloitte)
from their research:
digital tools to communicate with the government was #3 on factors that determine trust in the local, state, & federal government.
#1 was transparency.
#2 was the quality of relationship between the politican representing the constituents & the constituents themselves.
from the digital tool research:
citizens tend to trust proximate government more than distant government.
by design, digital services make distant services more proximate, creating a direct interaction.
because digital is now a first point of interaction for government to generate a positive impression…
a positive online experience and secure and user-friendly services can be very important.
the future is now, old men.
fair enough… so what?
the studies claim so to be true.
(you know what? for the next article, i’ll just go through a bunch of papers, the study, its claims, & prove it. two isn’t good enough for me lol. maybe ten)
if it is… then what?
would we need to build a device/app/website for this?
i mean, could we just get the politician to use X as a way to reveal their intentions and for us to release our thoughts?
but then we would need someone to scrape the data and show that the posts are, in fact, from “x” district and not some random person or bot.
well, from michael noblo, he suggests this:
what are the key features of the tools used to facilitate the online town halls we conducted (& what should be used)?
- text chat functionality- type in questions
- post solutions from citizens- and select by agreeableness/ compromise, not by popularity (i.e. what makes sense… can we all agree on this, then scale up)
- video/audio sharing of thoughts -) one must be permitted to contribute by sharing their notions publicly in response to a poll, question, or a dialogue in an online setting (i.e. recording, Loom, etc.)
- polling - an online polling location with the intention for seeking agreeableness to a specific issue (i.e. surveymonkey, but for local municipalities)
- cost-effective and user-friendly - trust increases with user friendliness and when the process is straightforward to begin interacting with one’s consituents and public sector.
this way, everyone can participate at their own schedule.
nobody should compromise their attention/time.
and nobody should compromise the future of their world.
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