Strengthening Legal and Technological Frameworks to Grow Civic Participation and Public Engagement
This morning, the American Democracy Project attended an event entitled, “Strengthening Legal and Technological Frameworks to Grow Civic Participation and Public Engagement” and hosted by the Governance Studies division of the Bookings Institution.
A summary of the event (copied below), as well as the audio recording, which we highly recommend listening to, are available here. Download the free publication “Making Public Participation Legal” here.
In order for democracy to function well, the citizenry must be well-informed, engaged, and able to freely participate in democratic processes. But most of the local laws that govern public participation in the United States are outdated, fail to match the expectations and capacities of citizens today, pre-date the Internet, and do not reflect the lessons learned in the last two decades about how citizens and governments can work together. Increasingly, public officials, legislative staff, and policymakers are wondering whether civic participation best practices are in fact supported – or even allowed – by the law.
On October 23, Governance Studies at Brookings hosted a forum on reimagining the legal and technological frameworks to strengthen and boost civic participation and citizen engagement. Over the past year, the Working Group on Legal Frameworks for Public Participation has produced new tools, including a model local ordinance and model amendment to state legislation, in order to help create a more supportive, productive, and equitable environment for public participation. During this forum, members of this working group discussed the new tools and the larger questions about how to strengthen the legal framework for public participation.
Also, speaking of technology, don’t forget that tomorrow is our second eCitizenship webinar regarding where students get their news and why it matters. Find out more about how to access that event here.