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    Keeping ‘the public’ in public engagement

    On this week’s It’s Our Money podcast, Juliana Reyes finds Doron Taussig re-arranging It’s Our Money world headquarters without her input. Doron says he wants her thoughts — after he’s finished. He explains he’s been inspired by City Council’s approach to public engagement in the re-districting process: Redistricting happens once every ten years, and according to the city charter should be done by September. But, as Catherine Lucey and Jan Ransom recently reported in the Daily News, no public hearings have been scheduled. Council might only hear what citizens have to say shortly before it completes the process – in other words, after the room’s been re-arranged.Juliana sets out to convince Doron that public engagement is more than just crazy people making speeches while elected officials yawn.

    We want you to have a say in redistricting, and here’s your chance.  A local mapping software firm, Azavea, has developed a software program that will allow individual citizens and civic groups to draw their own Council map for Philadelphia. Check out the mapping tool at FixPhillyDistricts.com.   The best maps will win prizes totaling $1,000 and be presented to City Council.

    We’re hosting a meeting here at WHYY on Monday, Aug. 8, at 7 p.m. to explain the tool to any interested person or group. To join us, sign up by calling the 215-898-1112, or emailing LindaBre@gse.upenn.edu.

    May the best map win!

    “It’s Our Money” is a joint project between Philadelphia Daily News and WHYY, funded by the William Penn Foundation.

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