Conversation With An Environmental Planner
Eight Questions With Bari Schreiner of The Washington State Department of Ecology
Surrounded by the natural beauty of the coastal Northwest, Bari Schreiner needs no reminders about the importance of her job as an environmental planner for the Washington State Department of Ecology in Olympia, Wash. Among her duties, Schreiner helps oversee public engagement regarding rule changes and other proposals affecting the state's environment. She sat down with SmartComment to discuss how citizen outreach has changed during her career at the agency and why her team is turning to digital technology to transform its comment management process.
The 'Fake Comment' Problem
Stolen Identities, Tampered Submissions Are New Democracy Threat
When the Federal Communications Commission closed the public comment period regarding its proposed net neutrality repeal last year, the final tally of total comments they received was unbelievable.
The agency, tasked with overseeing America's broadcasters and internet providers, received almost 23 million public comments about the subject-one of the most controversial policy issues to be put before the public in years. But to log that many comments, 1 out of every 15 American citizens would have had to submit a comment to the agency-a scenario that would seem to test reality just as it might government servers.
5 Tech Solutions to Comment Period Hurdles
How Agencies Are Relying on Technology To Address Modern Challenges
One of a free society's most fundamental attributes is the ability of citizens to interact directly with the people overseeing the public policies affecting their lives and environment.
Very often, this interaction takes the form of a public comment period, where citizens are invited to give their opinions on a regulatory proposal or Environmental Impact Report, with the understanding that their input will be considered and responded to during the decision-making process.
Will an Infrastructure Fix Really Happen?
The 5 Biggest Obstacles in the Way of a Final Bill
Is an actual infrastructure bill the great promise -- or tease -- of 2018?
That's the question on the minds of millions of Americans as both Democrats and the Trump Administration this month unveiled plans to tackle the problem of our country's crumbling roads, bridges, airports and other critical systems. While the two proposals remain a long way apart philosophically--and are both notably short on details--the fact that actual numbers have replaced mere conjecture means there is at least movement on the playing field--a marked departure from last year when we could only guess what a potential infrastructure plan might look like. Of course, whether we are closer to getting the bulldozers moving remains to be seen.
A Year of 'Smart' Growth
Innovations, New Clients Promise an Exciting 2018
Every business has that year when groundswell becomes growth. When prospects begin turning predictably into projects. When they're able to stop worrying about getting clients and instead focus exclusively on delighting them.
At SmartComment, 2017 was that year. With thousands of projects and users across the country, we're both thrilled and humbled that so many project leads are turning to us to help manage public comments related to their most critical infrastructure efforts and public engagement campaigns.