Citizen Participation Essay

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Decision making in public organizations can range from how to carry out everyday tasks to value questions that can shape people’s lives for years to come. It is important in these situations to ask for public input to make sure that the best decision is made for everyone who will be affected. Citizen participation in government has been practiced in the United States since its conception, the forums for the participation have changed but citizen input is still a vital part of the decision making process in American public administration. Citizen participation, or public input, is defined as the participation of civil society (both individual citizens and institutionalized actors) in the local decision making process”. This can also be …show more content…
Many times this is at night and interested people with families or the elderly may have a hard time due to other commitments. Another way that the public can provide input is by writing a brief for or against the proposal or by writing suggestions, these briefs or suggestions would be submitted to a certain person within the organization during a specific time frame. Usually the written form of participation is used on the federal level when a professional organization, lobbyist, or some other group with an opinion on a subject would like to affect the outcome of a decision. Many times individual citizens will not even know that there is an opportunity to submit a written opinion. Two other ways that a citizen can participate in decision making is though polls and surveys, these are usually sent out buy the organization to try and get the public’s opinion on a matter. Many times these surveys are not returned and both are cost prohibitive. Finally another kind of citizen participation is through focus groups or as they are sometimes called a task force. Focus groups are usually comprised of people who have some kind of political stake in the process and therefore may not necessarily be looking out for the public interest. All of these types of public input vehicles are still used in public organizations, they are useful to some degree but there are newer and better ways. Web 2.0 technologies offer multiple ways, for the

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