Comparison of Status Quo vs the Pittsburgh Open Government Amendment

Open government = better government!

Status Quo vs Open Government

Comparison of the current situation with what can be expected under implementation of the Open Government Amendment
Currently-vs-Under the Amendment
Information often buried in department filesPublicly available information obtainable online & through the local library
Most meetings are virtually unattendable because of time, location, or unseen noticesAll meetings which are "public" by law must be webcast; public can give comment online
Public notice given for limited items and buried in the legal noticesMore public notice; all notice posted online; notice sent to individuals who request it
Administrative matters often put into effect without public knowledge or inputAdvance notice of administrative matters put online and sent to those who request it
Proposed legislation often hidden behind obscure or misleading titles and �captions�All legislation must be explained & citizen questions answered before it is introduced
Claim of �proprietary information� often used to hide information from the publicEliminates numerous loopholes and makes it extremely difficult to hide information
Information needed to make informed public comment is often unavailable before hearingsFull disclosure of information when hearings are first scheduled and advertised
Public comment limited to 3 minutesFull organized presentations possible
Public comment and hearings poorly attended by CouncilA quorum (majority) of Council must attend all testimony, comment, and presentations
No effective means for proactive public participation in the City�s governancePublic participation body established to facilitate active citizen involvement
Practically impossible for individuals and citizen groups to uncover backroom deals and/or disclose what�s really going onStrong framework for citizen access to the inside workings of City government; ability to review matters and inform the public
New candidates for public office come from the party machine; incumbent politicians buy favor using their office as an election toolAverage citizens can learn how government operates, prove their proficiency with the issues, and build support to run for office
The ear of Council and the administration is open to those making campaign contributions; citizen input often gets short shriftCouncil and the administration are held accountable and must give their full attention to hear and consider citizen input

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