LISTSERV at Work L-Soft
Issue 4, 2013

Email City: Connecting Government, Engaging Citizens

When it comes to reaching citizens and coordinating between agencies, cities and other municipalities rely on email, the most central communication channel that almost anyone can – and does – use. A large number of municipal government customers count on email list technology to engage and empower residents and improve their internal operations within and across agencies and departments. Local government leaders and agency staff know that quality of life improves when citizens are well informed and internal coordination is strong, which is probably why this number continues to grow.

Email City

The possibilities are endless with opt-in email lists. For example, a city can have a sign-up center on its website for news, updates, discussion forums and other e-services that the city offers for its citizens. These email lists enable city officials to announce public town hall meetings and citizen task forces so that people can get involved. County boards of education can alert all of the city's school principals to an important policy change that they need to communicate immediately to their schools' students and parents. And commuters on their way to work can receive bus and subway delay alerts on their mobile devices.

Cities, counties and towns can (and some already do) offer issue-based email discussion forums, which people across all neighborhoods in and around the city are welcome to join, to provide an opportunity for valuable community dialogue and perspective on important issues. Council members and relevant agency staff can participate in the discussion and gather important citizen input from the discussions. Email lists also facilitate the opportunity for local government staff across agencies to let citizens interested in a particular issue know about opportunities to participate. Examples include notices about public meetings, invitations to provide public comment on draft policies and opportunities to assist with solutions to any given issue – for example, the clean-up and replanting of a neglected neighborhood park. Municipalities can easily launch new email discussion forums as issues emerge.

Strong communication powered by email list technology improves the reputation of a city overall and of its leaders and employees. Citizens who feel more involved with the towns where they live and know what is happening there feel safer and happier. Enjoy your visit to Email City and feel free to share this resource with colleagues and friends who work in municipal government, public schools and other relevant entities.


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