The lack of citizen participation in government at all levels has been lamented many times. Often, elected officials will merely announce that they welcome comments and ideas about new inititives – and they usually mean it. However, citizens who submit ideas never realy know if their ideas were considered or even received. They certainly do not know what ideas other citizens might have submitted. Perhaps technology can improve the situation.
An example can be found in Seattle, Washington, where the new mayor is using the Internet to ask for advice from citizens. It’s called Ideas for Seattle, a Web site where citizens can contribute new ideas for the future of the city and vote on ideas submitted by other citizens. Check it out at www.ideasforseattle.org.