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Small Family Foundation with Big Ideas for LA

20 Mar

LA2050 Housing Meetup

What will Los Angeles look like in 2050? While the Los Angeles Times thought 2013 might look like a futuristic Jetsons episode, one small family foundation is also generating big ideas for the future of the City of Angels. Continue reading

Vallejo Launches Participatory Budgeting

18 Feb
Image from Participatory Budgeting Vallejo

Image from Participatory Budgeting Vallejo

This month, ELP Advisors decided to mix things up a bit and invite a friend and colleague to share her experiences with our readers. Exciting innovations in sustainable development and civic engagement abound and we wanted to bring you an insider’s perspective for one of the topics that we covered back in 2012. We wrote a while back about participatory budgeting [PDF] and wanted to follow-up with an example from California. We’ve invited Ginny Browne from the Participatory Budgeting Project to share some insights from their experiment in Vallejo. Enjoy!

By: Ginny Browne

Just more than a year after emerging from bankruptcy, the Bay Area City of Vallejo is making a new name for itself as a national leader in civic engagement. Last September, Vallejo took this historic step by becoming the first U.S. city to launch participatory budgeting citywide. Continue reading

Technology as a Civic Engagement Tool

16 Jan

There’s been much to do about harnessing technology as a civic engagement tool, but groups are now focusing on using technology as a way to help underserved communities navigate complex government processes – and we’re totally on board with the idea. Technology has a lot of potential to be used as a tool to foster civic engagement, to make bureaucratic processes more transparent, and to improve the lives of low-income individuals. But while high-tech wizardry can act as a liberating force, it can also present a significant barrier to entry. Continue reading

Manufacturing Day

13 Sep

October 5th is Manufacturing Day, so grab your safety goggles and head to the nearest manufacturing open house in your area. The program is co-produced by a number of industry groups and is “designed to expand knowledge about and improve general public perception of manufacturing careers.” As part of the program, manufacturers nationwide are throwing open their doors and inviting the public to tour their facilities and learn more about what these businesses do. Continue reading

SF Better Streets: Public Engagement 2.0

13 Jul

As we noted a few months back, cities are rolling out more transparent platforms for public engagement and trying to demystify the complex and largely underwhelming processes that dictate local governance. In a move to make the inner-workings of the approvals process more accessible, San Francisco has launched sfbetterstreets. The program was developed to provide a comprehensive how-to guide that explains the city’s permitting system for different types of projects. Continue reading