Government Efficiency and Transparency

I believe our government needs to be more transparent and accountable. Technology provides myriad tools to help people easily interact with their leaders and in turn, have a more responsive government.

For example, it would be simple to broadcast city board meetings on Facebook Live. This would both allow people to avoid an unnecessary drive downtown to sit in on the discussions and deliberations of policymakers and it would also increase the likelihood of more public participation; more citizens are likely to watch meetings on their cell phone than on public access television.

Making it easier for citizens to watch public deliberations is just one step towards sending the message that an effective city government depends on public input. I would also like to make these meetings more efficient and responsive to our citizens’ concerns by offering “micro” meetings. Modeled after how committee meetings work in the state legislature, these gatherings would provide a forum for a group of citizens to talk to the board about a specific issue.

Since not everyone will attend or watch city board meetings, I will also commit to bringing city government to the people by hosting regular town hall meetings in different neighborhoods. While important, a more informed and engaged public is not the ultimate goal. What ultimately matters are results. In that regard, I would be completely transparent about the goals I want to achieve, including target dates for achieving them. As mayor, I would then preside over meetings where findings are presented. I would also create dashboards online so citizens can track our progress on specific issues whenever they choose.

I also believe that our city services need to be more responsive and easier to navigate. That begins with establishing a culture among city employees that emphasizes customer service. Creating that culture requires leadership, but also accountability: I would establish a method to measure city response times and citizen satisfaction with the service they received. Complaints would be answered within a specific timeframe, and citizens would have a tracking number to follow the progress of their requests. All of this data would be used to analyze which city departments are insufficiently responsive to public requests and to formulate ways to improve.