Angry Top-down Politics vs Real Bottom-up Change

Political dissatisfaction has dominated the 2016 presidential election campaigns, displaying a determination to shake up the way we pursue our country's governance.   Outside challengers have attracted non-voters to engage in the political process for their first time, but their focus upon the top office continues to embrace the top-down nature of the system, which is the bigger problem.   The expectation of finding a philosopher king who will lead us out of our morass ignores the alternative of rebuilding our democracy with structural changes from the bottom up.

The Open Government concept

“Open data” is currently a popular topic.   By making more public data available for citizens to analyze, it becomes possible for them to better identify ways to improve the effectiveness of public policy and government programs.   Open data offers an important contribution to transparency, however only a small, technologically astute minority of the public has the ability to process much of the raw public data.   Though a number of people with the necessary skills are striving to make the raw data usable by the general public, it's not the whole answer.

Pittsburgh Open Government Amendment

Synopsis

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ew Article 6 -- The Amendment deletes the present Article 6: Community Advisory Boards which is now irrelevant because City Council abolished all of the City's Community Advisory Boards, effective December 31, 2000.   In its place, the Amendment will substitute a new Article 6: Open Government which expands upon the recent Open Data legislation passed by City Council, providing greater opportunities for public participation in the governance of the city, including an ability for individuals to be notfied about legislative and administrative actions before they occur and assuring that Council and the Mayor give more attention to resident's input.

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