MecklenBlog team plans on connecting citizens to their government | CLT Blog

MecklenBlog team plans on connecting citizens to their government

Posted on 14 May 2008 by Justin Ritchie

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The city government of Charlotte is beginning a comprehensive look into utilizing technology and social services on the internet to engage citizens in the decision-making process. Recently, the MecklenBlog called on local community members to become a part of the MeckConnect program which aims to…

(…) identify what motivates and what inhibits civic involvement in local government and the community. A key feature of the pilot is holding a series of dialogue sessions to learn why people are involved and engaged in civic matters and why they are not. In addition, the pilot intends to determine how motivating factors may vary among people with different backgrounds and/or socio-economic status.”

I had the opportunity to attend one of the recent sessions referred to above and found it highly beneficial for both sides of the conversation.

I think what we uncovered is that citizens want to be involved, and our elected officials want us to be involved, but the information gap is too tremendous to overcome when traditional news sources provide the only means of reporting on issues. Training city council members and public officials on technologies that encourage transparency in the decision process will lead toward success in community engagement. These technolgies include Twitter, RSS, Blogs, Flickr, etc.

I look forward to working more with the MeckConnect program and the MecklenBlog team in general. How do you think we should utilize technology in our city government?


  1. Deanna 15 May 2008 at 8:21 AM

    I think this is an excellent idea, and that you hit the nail on the head about the information gap, Justin. That is exactly why I’m not that into politics because I feel the real issues aren’t covered with the media. I would definitely check out Meckenblog so I can get a grip on things before voting time.