Make sure your public information is truly public. This means your posting all public documents on the web, and making them keyword searchable. Create a citizens’ advisory board to make sure public information is available and user-friendly. Make sure there is a “sunshine” act that requires public access to public information and you and your colleagues are fully complying with the law. If meaningful and timely public access is being achieved in your area, share your local government’s web portal with us to inspire others to take action. Here are some very successful examples:
Make sure your meetings are fully accessible to the public. Public meetings must be publicly noticed so everyone has adequate and timely information in order to participate. Public meetings must be conducted in a manner that allows for fair and open consideration of public issues, including:
- the agenda known well in advance,
- information supporting the agenda items available well in advance,
- proper procedures, such as Roberts’ Rule of Order, are followed,
- conflicts of interest are fully disclosed and officials recuses themselves,
- the meeting is held at a time that maximizes public participation, such as an evening meeting in communities with many commuters,
- adequate time is set aside for the public to comment on pending matters,
- the meeting is broadcast, webcast, and the video permanently archived on an official website.
If meaningful and timely public participation is being achieved in your jurisdiction, then share your local government’s web portal with us to inspire others to take action. Here are some very successful examples:
- Realize that your primary duty is to uphold the law [which you swear your oath to] and be true to the citizens you serve.
- Your tenure will be marked by how well you support a healthy civic culture, regardless of party affiliation. Remember, no one party has “cornered the market” on helping or hurting America. At the local level, basic services [first responders, libraries, parks, utilities, roads] are not partisan issues.
- The rule of law, accountability, and effectiveness should always “trump” partisanship.
We are rapidly developing and implementing new programs on a national scale. Your support is needed more than ever. Whether you are a parent or an organization, a corporation, or you have just remembered how lucky you are to be an American, please send your donation. The Dreyfuss Civics Initiative is a 501 (c)(3) organization and our EIN is #26-3083533. Your contribution is tax deductible.