In The Press

Upper Kirby Unveils Citizen Participation Website

by Travis Younkin
Intown Magazine, April 2007

In an effort to increase transparency in local government and citizen participation, the Upper Kirby District has launched a new website platform. Harnessing the power of new technologies to reach out to a wider audience, to involve people and bring them together, the Upper Kirby has launched the Upper Kirby Citizen Participation Portal. The project, which has been implemented in partnership with Insure Democracy, employs the innovative open source Gov2DemOSS citizen participation platform which has been awarded with the European Union’s 2006 Good Practice Label.

The platform promotes transparency and accountability by providing online information on the District’s administrative issues, including development plans and projects, public documents, budgets, agendas and minutes of monthly board meetings, a calendar of events and public notices. It offers a multi-channel medium for reaching out to and involving the community via interactive tools such as forums, polls and blogs that allow constituents to join debates on communal issues, cast their votes and communicate directly with their representatives. Upper Kirby has recently partnered with educators and academics in Public Administration and e-government at St. Thomas University to assist the results. Ultimately, this new platform provides the community’s stakeholders a chance to actively and directly influence the decisions that affect their community. The latest online registration and security systems protect the identity and personal information of users.

For more information on the Upper Kirby Citizen Participation Portal, please visit the Upper Kirby site at www.upperkirby.org