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Council News Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:   
2/25/2009  3:22:00 PM
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Phyllis Shulman, Conlin Office, (206) 684-8805 Dana Robinson Slote, (206) 615-0061

Council President Richard Conlin
Councilmember Bruce Harrell
Councilmember Sally Clark
Councilmember Nick Licata

CITY COUNCIL TO CONVENE OPEN GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
Committee will focus on improving access to public information, and increasing communication between Councilmembers and citizens to inform Council decision-making

SEATTLE - On Friday, February 27 at 9:30 a.m., the Seattle City Council will convene a new committee to improve communication between the Council and its constituents. Led by Council President Richard Conlin, the Open Government Committee will explore and recommend ways to improve citizens access to public documents and seek more diverse community input on issues affecting the City in advance of legislative action.

Councilmembers Bruce Harrell, Sally Clark and Nick Licata will serve on the committee, with Harrell serving as Vice Chair. Potential work plan items include:

  • A review of Legislative Department and City procedures for responding to public records requests, and considering legislation that requires every Department to have certain rules for responding to public disclosure requests.
  • Creating a new customer service system and overseeing the investigation of tools and costs for citizen polling, city services and legislative information that can be customized, and providing access to additional informational audio and video services.
  • Soliciting and considering community suggestions to increase the level of citizen engagement in local government.

We are very pleased to launch this committee, said Council President Richard Conlin. My hope is that we will improve the ease with which constituents can engage in the democratic process, resulting in greater input from a broader and more diverse group of citizens. Ultimately, this will strengthen local government by providing the Council with a more complete understanding of the will of the people.

Councilmember Harrell says, We have the opportunity to take advantage of technology to create user-friendly ways to communicate with our citizens and improve access. The first step in this process is to make online City services simple and easy to use by implementing a Single Sign-On system. A Single-Sign-On system allows users the ability to log in once and securely access online services. Implementing this feature will save the City money by way of resource consolidation.

In addition to the February 27 meeting, the Open Government Committee will meet on March 20, April 17, May 1 and June 5. All meetings are open to the public and will take place from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. at Seattle City Hall in Council Chambers at 600 4th Avenue.

Archives of previous meetings, news releases and copies of legislation are available on the Councils website at www.seattle.gov/council . Council meetings are cablecast live on Seattle Channel 21 and Webcast live at www.seattlechannel.org/viewer_live.asp . Questions about Council news releases can be directed to Kimberly Reason, Council Communications, at 206-684-8159, or by e-mail at kimberly.reason@seattle.gov .

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