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By-Law to gather public input & giving notice

[ posted on the discussion board at: http://goodlight.net/wbai
My proposed bylaw for general meetings would serve the following nicely - ed.]


By-Law to gather public input & give notice. J2
(SVT) Prog. 'advisors' & decision-makers must be made by B
Mon May 6 12:31:01 2002

Even our conservative government has all sorts of laws requiring public input processes before they go ahead with certain projects. They may or may not use the public input, but hey, it's a start. Activists in many spheres have used those laws effectively.

It's obvious to me that this is a major area that needs to be a by-law, because otherwise any "Program Council" of Program Director (or LAB if it shares power in this) have clear conflicts of interest -- personal-power vested interests, in running as far from public input as posssible. Human nature is that they'll probably do the bare minimum listening to listeners that they have to. So it's either as solid as a by-law, or it'll never happpen.

(Q - "well, if you're so interested.... why don't you...." ?
A- I already have three writing deadlines this week, so this isn't going to be my 4th.)

So....anyone else want to take this idea and run with it, bring a draft by-law on this to the upcoming By-Law meeting?


I have organised public input gathering, in another life. An interesting high-tech example, is how the CIVIC ALLIANCE (coalition of over 10 community orgs) conducts their giant public input meetings on the planning of rebuilding downtown after Sept. 11th. At their first giant public meeting, every person in a room of 600? had a wireless keypad to instantly punch in answers to questions. And all were seated at tables of ten or so, with a wireless laptop to send agreed-upon sentences to the central computer. Results were fed to central computer and projected on a screen, 10 seconds after each question was asked.

They don't own the equipment, they contracted some other party to bring it all in for the afternoon at Pier 17's food court, which was completely filled.

The second such giant public input process meeting, wil be in July. I don't know if it's in one place or in several, next time.


This is not to forget that we don't have money for high tech right now.... but just observing a meeting like this can educate one about what the possibilities are, and is a powerful antidote for exaggerated cynicism about the viability of public forums to get some real work done.

The meetings (as we learned from instantly-gathered info projected on screens, in the meeting's first quarter hour) are statistically skewed towards the real estate crowd, rich folks living near the WTC site, and professionals, white and able-bodied. (They did outreach to all constituencies & minorities in town, except to PWDs and LGBTs. Who does THAT remind you of? I digress.) If you're outside of those over-represented categories, you might want to check this out and sign up ASAP for the next one in July.

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