Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Antidote to Political Apathy

Click above to watch Dave Meslin, presenting at TED

Posted by: Noël Jones

A reader sent me this video with the note below, and after seeing it--since cynicism and apathy do tend to run amok in the Easton sometimes--I have decided to post it for readers to watch. Is it possible that our neighbors aren't stupid, lazy and apathetic, but rather that public engagement is being actively and deliberately thwarted via bureaucracy and the media?

"I just watched this and thought it might be something that interested
you, if you haven't already seen it. His points are things that I find
most appealing in your blog. I hope you find this TED talk intriguing,
and keep up the good work."

Many thanks to this reader...he's right, that's what we do here--help each other decipher the nonsense so that we self-educate as a community of individuals and can take action when it counts, hopefully inspiring more and more people to do the same.


Alan Raisman said...


I want you to look at two websites below.



These websites are about bringing open government to San Francisco. The Mayoral candidates in San Francisco will be blogging about bringing open government to the campaigns.

You can learn more about both projects at the website below.


noel jones said...

Thanks for the links--I will try to look into it when I have some free time.

I would like to see Easton move to using the kind of posters that this speaker suggests in his video...I think a lot more people would turn out for meetings on proposed projects--of course, attendance will always be difficult if these meetings are held during the work day, which often happens, and is another means of excluding the public while claiming to want our input.

However, some more recent project meetings have been held in the evenings, and I think the city is starting to realize that getting public input up front prevents public outcry later that can kill a project.

The public meetings for the intermodal facility were held at night, as were the meetings for renovation of the 600 block of Northampton.

But the speaker is right--when it comes to most Zoning and Planning meetings, the notices are usually complicated and alienating, rather than inviting input from regular people who are not experts in municipal lingo. We should start using the posters he presents in the video--real simple--a big picture, the date, time, and location, and a simple question like "Do you want a grocery store here?"