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When public consultations & comments go awry

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Regular public consultation is a well-established practice for government in the U.S. at all levels. Technology has changed how governments collect feedback online and by providing a more open forum for participation to solicit feedback and integrate the public in the policymaking process. But, even when done with the best intentions, public consultations can provide mixed results.

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Balancing the books – how transparency can support good financial stewardship in cities big & small

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Cities are responsible for the allocation of public funds to improve infrastructure, provide key services to residents, and attract businesses and tourists. To do so effectively, governments must practice good financial stewardship of these funds to the benefit of residents. But in small cities, seemingly small oversights in the distribution of funds can have far-reaching consequences for constituents. With rising suburban poverty and increasingly sparse federal funds for rural communities, cities depend on fiscal transparency and accountability to invest in residents’ quality of life. 

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How opening city data can support racial justice

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Cities collect, store, analyze and disclose many different kinds of government data that are critical to understanding and addressing social inequality and racial justice. Advocates for equity can and must do more to demand more transparency from local authorities by working with cities to open up, close information gaps in their communities, and end data poverty.

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