City Council Member David Ryu, who ran for office two and a half years ago on a platform of increased transparency in local government, is keeping that issue alive with a new effort to collect stakeholder ideas for city policies to increase governmental transparency. Ryu is using a new “civic participation tool” called LawMaker to launch a city-wide competition in which stakeholders across the city can propose potential new policies or ordinances that would increase public access to various kinds of civic information or processes. The competition began last week, and is being publicized through local Neighborhood Councils (which is fitting, since LawMaker’s founder, Amit Thakkar, is a longtime neighborhood council member.)
In the campaign, Ryu challenges all LA residents to “propose and crowdsource new ideas for how we can make City operations more transparent and accessible.” The constituent-submitted policy that wins the most support by the December 11 deadline will be selected by Ryu’s office to inspire a new piece of legislation or a new program.
As of this morning, five proposals have been submitted so far, suggesting that the city:
- Hold more City Council and city commissions meetings on evenings and weekends (to make it easier for working constituents to attend)
- Create a “wait times dashboard” website to collect, present and study data about how long constituents have to wait when contacting city services such as 911, LAPD and other city offices and agencies
- Create an “open spending” website that tracks every dollar the city spends, across all services and departments
- Create a “master Los Angeles city map and calendar” to map and highlight all local organizations, licenses, and events that would be of interest to the public
- Require local development and permit applications to be reviewed by neighborhood councils before going higher up the city approval chain, and bodies above that level to acknowledge the NCs’ recommendations in their own considerations (such reviews and acknowledgements are currently recommended, but not required)
If you would like to vote for one of these proposed policies – or submit one of your own – see the Challenge page at https://lawmaker.io/challenges/7 Note that any policy suggestions “should be cost neutral (i.e. if the proposal has significant costs, it should include a funding mechanism to cover those costs, whether that is through cost recovery fees or other revenue generation methods). Policies should not violate any state or federal laws, be constitutionally dubious, or fall on shaky legal ground.”
The deadline for both submissions and votes is 5 p.m. on Monday, December 11.