On August 14, 2016 Smart Cville published the following article as an op-ed in the Daily Progress. Below you’ll find an excerpt of the essay that calls for the use technology to improve transparency and engagement.
It’s no surprise, then, that the same faces appear again and again at these public meetings. Each person represents that rare case of someone with the time to keep abreast of local issues and the resources to set other things aside in order to attend public hearings.
The result of all this isn’t just a lack of awareness about new projects and new concerns in local government; the far greater concern is the lack of voice for so many residents.
There are real solutions available to improve public engagement in Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and elsewhere, by equipping government staff with tools to increase public engagement and to empower residents from every neighborhood, background, and demographic.