Help Keep City Government Transparent!
What is the San Leandro city government up to? Often times I wonder myself, but without a local press that digs into its deeds (and misdeeds), we generally have no idea. I think we should change that! If the press won’t keep an eye on local government, let’s do it ourselves!
What I propose is simple: let’s have members of the community volunteer to attend key public meetings and update the rest of the San Leandro community as to what was discussed at those meetings. It sounds boring, but it might actually be pretty significant. For example, at the last Business & Housing Development Committee meetings one of the issues discussed was “updating” the Zoning code to make regulations of “entertainment and assembly” uses uniform throughout the industrial area. Now, by reading the very abbreviated minutes I have no idea what that means – but I bet it’s something related to the Faith Fellowship lawsuit, and something that could be of big consequences for the city (by either subjecting us to more lawsuits, or taking away valuable property rights). Whatever it is, it is something I bet City staff will try to sneak in. It’d be great if someone could make sure they don’t.
What I envision, are community volunteers (that means YOU!) choosing a committee or commission to follow (prioritizing the most important ones first), then taking a look at that committee’s/commission’s agenda, digging deeper into potentially interesting items and attending meetings when interesting things may be discussed. Then, they can write about it (on this blog, on the Patch, on their own blog, wherever) so as to keep the whole community updated. BTW, no reason why this couldn’t/shouldn’t be done for School Board committees as well.
If you’re more of the stay-at-home type, then how about picking a topic and following it up through California Public Records Acts requests? San Leandro Bytes has done several of these type of stories before, and I’m sure Mike could give you some guidance on how to go about it.
Some come on! Join me on keeping an eye on our elected (and non-elected!) officials. If you’re interested in helping with this project, please e-mail me!
Give it about two weeks and the last two years of obfuscation from the city of San Leandro will be erased. The people you are speaking will be needed to lead the way for changes to take root in San Leandro.