Spread the Open Impact message: Write an op-ed, reach out to your community, or rally the troops through social media.
Educate and recruit as many open government advocates as possible. Tell your friends and local community groups to join the Open Impact campaign.
Write to your local newspaper -- get the word out and let the public know why open government matters.
Fill out this form, type in your zip code, and voila! A list of publications from your area will appear, along with the sample opinion piece for you to edit. Modify the content to reflect your city’s needs, then choose the publications you want to send to (the more the merrier).
As more people and organizations advocate for open government in your city, change is sure to follow. Who'd make natural open government allies in your city?
Reach out to student groups, meetups, nonprofit organizations, and other civic associations with a tech or civic focus.. Try searching sites such as Meetup and Eventbrite, as well as your local paper.
Here's what we’d usually say:
Follow up! If you don't get a response, try another email. If you still don't get a response, try a phone call or attend the next event/meeting to establish contact.
Open data and create civic software yourself. Show city residents and city officials what open government can do for your city.
Want to collect and curate data-- so you and others can make useful things with it? Learn how to liberate data.
Have you ever come across a killer civic app in another city, and think to yourself “I wish my city had this app?” You can make it happen.
Are you a developer who wants to do good, and lend a hand to your community? Fork, commit, push. one of these open source apps
Host an open government event, and educate your neighbors about the benefits of open government.
Use the list of events below to get inspired, and don’t forget to check out the CfA Brigade’s list of open government events across the country.
As you go to plan your event, look at our handy editable event guide and list of discussion topics .
Start talking about open gov in your city. Use meetup.com and similar services like Google Groups to bring together interested community members. Don’t forget - you can also start a meetup to organize an event or hackathon in the future!
Host a Hackathon. Hackathons promote collaboration between community members as well as city staff and city residents. They allows for discussion of civic issues, and are loads of fun.
Invite friends, allied organizations, and government officials to your event and have them hack away at a civic issue. Successful hackathons are those who strive to bring together a diverse field of specialties and interests.
You can hack away at code (i.e make an app or API) or a policy (i.e. drafting an open data policy). Follow these steps and launch your own hackathon.
Organize a CityCamp. CityCamp is an unconference focused on innovation for municipal governments and community organizations. They have become widely popular as a way to bring different stakeholders together (i.e. designers, developers and city leaders) to discuss new ways of solving civic problems. Unconferences are not your typical conference, they are interactive and engaging. The participants play a huge role in directing the conference. Here is a breakdown of how to get started.
Bring together a panel (3-4 people) to talk about open government. Whatever the structure of discussion, use the panel as an opportunity to turn audience members into open government advocates. Collect contact information and make sure to mention your plans for bringing open government to your city both before and after the panel discussion.
Speak up and educate your city officials. Tell your representatives why open government matters to you and your community; you can be the difference between a problem being ignored and acted upon.
Quick Tip: Your city might have a different names for the its main legislative body. Some other terms to look for include Board of Selectmen or Board of Supervisors.
Quick Tip: Call way in advance to the date you want!
City council or committee meetings allow constituents to provide feedback to government – the perfect chance to educate your elected officials on the value of open government.