Notes shared by Andrea Sanchez.
Session I: Place Speak and Helping Politicians Communicate (Rnold and Allison)
– Place Speak is an online Platform to create goals for the government
– How do we engage citizens? Not everyone can go to a public consultation. Lots of people want to have a say in decision making
– Challenges of online consultation:
¨ Anonymity builds contempt. Place Speak verifies you by location so that you can tap on members and verify what area they are from
¨ You have to create a user base
¨ Social media is not the best because your target population may not be valid for what you are researching. Do you know who they are?
¨ Need to keep reaching out to get the word out
– Place Speak:
¨ Identifying what’s important to you and find out what people in your area really care about
¨ Vancouver School Board started using it
¨ $200/year for non-politicians
¨ Participants can see the results (in accordance to the standard in public consultations)
¨ Andrea suggested the incorporation of enabling the general public to have access to certain types of data pertaining to their area, even if they didn’t participate.
– Politicians (progressive ones in particular) need help. They are very accessible
– Change is about communicating with politicians. More so than just voting
– Things happen after politicians get elected, that can be unexpected
– A legislation can be influenced in a lot of different ways before it gets approved
– Some politicians think that if an issue is not on the media (or a letter addressed to them), then it’s not really an issue. So they need to be more open.
– How do you get a more diverse group that’s not just the typical group that always gets engaged
– Being told you are important, while being told you are stupid at the same time, may drive some politicians to simply stop listening
– Do we need an ombudsman? Someone who’s solely dedicated to listening..
– Where can we find information about our political structure and how to get engaged politically?
¨ Booklet for Citizenship is a very good resource
¨ West Coast LEAF(for women’s issues): 2 day workshop in “Transforming your future”
– Get politicians to make public promises to hold them accountable
– Write to your MP. They like having constituents and community feedback
– Politicians also need to be told what they did good too. Successes are important for their development. Otherwise insensitivity can build up and it makes them numb. Don’t let the scabs form.
– Final question: How do I engage politically, and what would inspire me to get engaged?