Voices from the Edge on 01/20/11
What's the future of public participation? A with Jim Middaugh about Opt In and other strategies for a more engaged community
Oregonians like to think of themselves as actively involved citizens. Even though Oregonians tend to turn out for elections in greater numbers than their counterparts in other states, there still remains large number of people who don't engage in the process. The picture becomes more troubling when we turn to citizen involvement in local government decision-making.
Metro, in partnership with Portland State University, United Way and NW Health Foundation, has launched a new strategy to reverse that trend: Opt In, an "online participation tool" that solicits input from citizens who agree to be part of an online "panel" answering issue surveys each month. Can this sort of connection bring more people back into the process? What do tools like Opt In mean for the culture of our democratic institutions and traditions? Metro's Jim Middaugh will join Jo Ann and Dave in discussing Opt In and other strategies for a more engaged community.
Jo Ann Bowman is a former , former executive director of Oregon Action, and a long-time leader in the struggle for racial and economic justice. Dave Mazza is a freelance journalist and former editor of who has covered and been involved in Portland's civil rights, peace, labor and environmental movements for 20 years.
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Program Engineer: Steve Nassar
Audio Editor: Alicia Olsen