June 1, 2014 by Omar Passons
I was asked to speak at a Hack for Change event on June 1st as part of the National Day of Civic Hacking. To make it easier for participants at the event and others to access the materials, I’ve copied the slides below. I’ve also added in some useful links and text below the slides to make it easier to find related information.
Making our communities easier to engage in and more friendly to civic participation is an important core value of mine. Please reach out with any questions or thoughts about how best to improve the San Diego region or the community in which you live.
Critically important components of meaningful civic engagement
The Urban Collaborative Project was started by a native San Diegan and engages residents of Southeastern San Diego in a variety of ways – including this traditional community meeting.
A community group organizes volunteers for a community clean-up in the North Park community of San Diego, demonstrating another classic form of civic engagement.
Taken at Young Hickory, a neighborhood coffee and craft beer shop in San Diego, the next wave of civic engagement just may involve people sitting alone, using their mobile phones from a bar to change the way our communities work.
The San Diego Foundation created Our Greater San Diego Vision to engage San Diegans in developing the future of the community. And several local examples demonstrate how civic hacking is opening up new avenues for engagement.
The San Diego Foundation started by reaching out to understand what issues were of personal importance to San Diegans across the region.
From there, they narrowed in on one key question – quality of life.
The issues above materialized as the most important to San Diegans. And thanks to a major contribution by civic leader Malin Burnham -a demonstration of civic engagement by the business community – the Malin Burnham Center for Civic Engagement was born to address the issues above.
An overview of the focal areas being addressed by the Center for Civic Engagement
This brings us to a new wave of community-based public leadership models that leverage the resources and technology readily available to all.
An interesting example of civic engagement and open data recently played out thanks to our tech-savvy community. Read the letter that moved the process here.
A central theme of local-level civic engagement is the importance of elected leadership in shaping the conversation and making participation meaningful.
The next slide leads us to another important way to engage the public – utilizing technology to break down informational barriers.
Once viewed as a novelty or an odd development of a “look-at-me” culture, social media has become a vital part of strategies around civic engagement.
The next slide demonstrates the breadth of reach possible through meaningful social media interactions. San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria is an active user of social media to connect with constituents. But perhaps more importantly, community members from StartUp Circle Vice President of Strategic Initiatives Gabriela Dow, to Bike San Diego advocate Sam Ollinger to Tourism Authority market expert Candice Eley and beyond are all able to connect utilizing this tool. It is very effective at the local level for building coalitions and sharing ideas.