Using Digital Technologies to Connect with Citizens and Shape Public Policy in the City of Markham by Frank Scarpitti, Mayor, and Adam Froman #MRIA14 #MRX


Live blogging from the #MRIA national conference in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.saskatoon

Using Digital Technologies to Connect with Citizens and Shape Public Policy in the City of Markham

Frank Scarpitti, Mayor, City of Markham; Adam Froman, CEO, Delvinia & AskingCanadians

  • 60% of their city was born outside of Canada
  • known as Canada’s high tech capital, over 900 tech companies call Markham home
  • known as a knowledge based economy
  • want to attract tech, life science, and finance companies
  • one of fastest growing areas in Canada, population will grow by 50% in 20 years
  • Embedded image permalink25 years ago, the wired telephone was how we communicated at a distance, now mobile phones are used for phone calls, and much more.
  • now pushing for internet voting
  • in 2003, experienced a 400% increase in internet voting
  • offered in 2006 again, further increase in use of the internet, increased turnout to 40% but that compares well to typical numbers of low 30s or lower
  • 2007, launched online program “Click with Markham” Feedback from residents on Markham priorities and action plans
  • Can get 300 people to an in-person event but got over 7000 online
  • “do it yourself Markham”  humorous online videos to engage voters and increase awareness of decisions and impacts in their own neighbourhoods, recognize importance of issues and voting. videos of doing your own garbage, street maintenance (See below)
  • Go where the people are digital to reach young, tech savvy residence
  • Have their own portal for more than 50 services – websites let you see what you can buy, portal connects you directly with the service, introduced mobile app to make access to services portable
  • consumer/citizens control the conversation
  • how do you deal with transparency and accountability with a government
  • built this program on crowdsourcing initiative
  • even got data and submissions from 10 to 18 year olds [impressive!]
  • had a team go into the schools and engage
  • opendata presents a lot of opportunity in the MR world
  • 98 municipalities will now offer internet voting, Canada is a leader in this, it’s too late to discuss, we’re already doing this

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