How Public Comment Periods have Changed Recent History And how They Will Continue to Change History

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Most of the public attention paid to lawmaking falls on large government bodies and the charismatic, sometimes controversial people who are their members. Open debate between politicians and policy-makers is flashy, and makes for entertaining TV programming, and it's true that its effects can be far reaching.

Still, it's only one part of the rule making process. Especially in times where so many major issues in society are demanding the attention and action of its citizens, it can be easy to forget the more humble methods of making and affecting policy. Getting caught up in the drama of newsworthy politics can distract from the ways in which even a single citizen can change the way an entire country is run.

Posted on August 28, 2020
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Digital Public Participation in the Pandemic And what We can Learn from it for the Future

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Since the birth of our nation, the United States has had to continuously adapt to maintain a true democracy and mold our laws around many different issues. When the constitution was first written, voting rights only included a small class of land-owning free men. But today almost all adults in the country can vote. The US has tacked voting fraud and moved on from political machines that were common through the gilded age.

But still today we must adapt to grow to meet a host of similar issues. Some have gotten plenty of press, like gerrymandering and regulations designed to limit certain demographics' access to the polls. Other, less dramatic problems, for example the issue of citizen input on more specific regulations, haven't seen as much discussion.

Posted on July 8, 2020
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How COVID-19 Is Remaking Citizen Engagement

Government Agencies Embrace Digital Tools, New Processes to Communicate With Stakeholders

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No matter their motto, all government entities now essentially exist under a single banner: In Zoom we trust.

Once the online meeting tool of choice for the slickest of tech companies, this now-ubiquitous online meeting platform has gone mainstream among the municipalities and regulatory agencies whose traditional method of stakeholder engagement -- the in-person meeting -- has been sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of course, Zoom is just one of the dozens of online tools that have gone from “nice-to-haves” to necessary for the regulators and administrators overseeing America's response to the coronavirus crisis.

Posted on April 30, 2020
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