Trying to Get Government to Blog

We have a few examples of elected officials with blogs. Locally, is the stand-out example. Even Mayor Potter has a blog of sorts.

But how about using blogs to really involve citizens in the process of government? Again the City of Portland has a start at this, with a blog on the Charter Review project. But that blog is directed at an appointed commission, one step removed from the seat of government power.

Since Metro is about to undertake an update of both our regional land use and transportations plans, and has expressed a desire to do it differently this time, in my capacity as a citizen representative on MPAC (the Metro Policy Advisory Committee), I suggested that the internet outreach component of the project should include an element that let citizens talk to each other, not just send feedback back to Metro. In short, a blog.

The response from staff was underwhelming. Staff expressed concern that moderating a blog would be difficult, and sorting through and summarizing all the citizen input would be very resource intensive.

I intend to keep pushing for the idea, but it appears it will be an uphill climb…

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