Pittsburgh City Charter
Open Government Amendment
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his section contains the complete text of the Open Government Amendment. It is required by law to appear on each petition and is annotated with summary comments to enable quicker scanning. The text is also be provided in booklet form for those who wish a larger type version than appears on the petitions. You can also download a printable pdf file (304K).
New Article 6 --The Amendment will delete the present Article 6: Community Advisory Boards which is now irrelevant because City Council abolished all of the City's Community Advisory Boards, effective December 31, 2000. In its place, the Amendment will substitute a new Article 6: Open Government which defines how the City shall provide public information and provides expanded opportunities for individuals to receive notice about legislative and administrative actions before they occur. In addition, citizens will have more possibilities to provide comment, including online, and Council and the Mayor must both pay more attention to resident's input.
Better notification -- Individuals will be able to sign up to be notified anytime anything the city is doing would have an impact upon something of interest to them. To accomplish this, a person would identify for the City those matters which are of concern, then when legislation is marked up before introduction or an administrative action is catagorized, the City computers would notify all those who indicated they wanted to be notified.
More Public Participation -- The most impressive part of the amendment is its creation of a new public participation body, called a Citizen Advisory Panel. Virtually any resident or taxpayer can participate at any time, provided they don't have a conflict of intreest. This body will have the ability to opbain information directly from department heads; it can request presentations be made to it by the administration or Council; and it can develop its own presentations on city matters which both Council and the Mayor will be required to attend and listen to.
Comprehensive approach --There are also a number of more mundane matters which concern various things such as the handling of information and how citizens can provide information to the City. All in all, the amendment is a comprehensive approach to providing better communication between the people of Pittsburgh and their government.
If you have questions about anything concerning the amendment, including its wording, please feel free to call the OpenPittsburgh.Org number at (412) 853-6577 and someone should assist you.