Speak UP San Mateo! Go online to share your thoughts and ideas. Get engaged in the public process.
Even with community input, the city of San Mateo has made difficult decisions and is having challenging conversations. We’ve increased the minimum wage; businesses are upset. We’re having discussions about the location of underground storage facilities; alarming one neighborhood.
If the public process leaves you scratching your head wondering, does the city listen, you’re not alone? City staff often wonder what other ways are there to get the publics’ attention, so that we can have an authentic dialogue about the new initiatives we are considering.
Fortunately, technology is making it more possible for this conversation to happen. Today the City of San Mateo launches Speak UP San Mateo!, an online engagement platform that provides the community with a way to share thoughts and ideas with the city about a particular program or initiative.
How does it work?
Speak UP San Mateo! is an easy way to get engaged in the public process. Access the platform online via the city’s website and click on one of the active topics. Review the question or the topic detail and click on the button to add an idea. You can add your idea anonymously or by creating an account and logging in. You can share your idea publicly or privately with the project manager, and if you choose others can respond to your comment. The project manager will track responses and will use this information when considering the next steps of a project.
What can I do besides share ideas?
Speak UP San Mateo! is a comprehensive engagement tool that is more than just a place to exchange ideas. The city can also post surveys and polls as well as topics that provide the community with opportunities to prioritize project goals, initiatives or outcomes; it also possible to invite input into the budget process, and gather feedback at various milestones within a larger project. Some topics encourage community members to share photos and post ideas to an area plan or a map.
The platform simplifies the analysis and reporting process too. Once the topic closes, the project manager will have the ability to run a report that automatically analyzes the information collected. It can be shared online with those who responded as well as with other decision-makers. The reporting helps to keep the community more informed and engaged in the issues that the city is considering.
Why get online?
Everyone is busy! Who has time (or at times even the interest) to attend a public meeting or workshop? But many of you care about San Mateo and want to get engaged in some of the decisions that impact your neighborhood or community. Online engagement is an effective way to reach a broader audience, share information, and invite input from those who are interested in a specific topic.
An engaged community is a better community. Fortunately, there is more than one way to share ideas and influence the public process. Public meetings and workshops are often held, and the city shares information on Nextdoor, via email, through social media channels, and using other digital sources like this blog.
Speak UP San Mateo! is one additional way for you to share your ideas. Visit this online engagement platform and participate in the active topic. It’s an easy one! Tell us what you like best about living or working in San Mateo. Other topics are coming soon. We look forward to your participation and input.