Local elections are coming up and around here and I keep hearing the same stuff: the boardwalk needs to be replaced, taxes are too high, parking and traffic issues, overdevelopment, it’s the Allegria’s fault, blah blah blah. All of those are important issues, but one topic that keeps popping up everywhere is our city government’s transparency, or lack of it. I did a search on the LB Herald & The LB Patch for the word TRANSPARENCY in Long Beach and it came up with pages of articles! See for yourself:
Long Beach Herald – Over ten pages in the last year or so.
Long Beach Patch – 31 recent results!
Now granted, not everyone of those searches deals with the issue of transparency, but people are talking about it. I also saw that particular word on the many political fliers that were sent to my mailbox these past few weeks. It seems to me that ‘transparency’ is a big issue in Long Beach concerning our government! Heck, even the White House cares about it and its importance:
Government should be transparent. Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing.
Whether or not the White House actually practices it is something left for another debate, but still, the idea of open government something that I can stand behind. I think a lot of our problems will go away if there was an open government. I’m no therapist, but I do know that communication is key to solving so many problems and relationships! In this case, the relationships between the private & public; not to mention within the public themselves!
Did you know many municipalities actually put their council meetings up on youtube? Do a google search and you’ll see what I’m talking about. The first video in this search is hilarious. And here is the late Steve Jobs, for example, at his city council meeting earlier this summer. Not everybody in Long Beach can make our city council meetings, especially the sick and elderly. It would be of great service to give them the opportunity and see what they are paying for (more about that in a minute).
Ahh transparency.. nothing is hidden! Which is why I half-jokingly threw the idea out to some friends how I want to run for City Council under the ‘Transparency Party’ ticket: Open Government for all! Every citizen of Long Beach would have the opportunity to be involved with all major decisions and have easy access to every single public record, public contract, public payroll and public etc. Why not? Let me remind you of something: These public officials think they own us, but they don’t. Look at Long Beach, for example. We, the people, own Long Beach. We pay these public figures their salaries and they have to listen to what we have to say. They are not royalty and these are not cushy jobs that last forever. We have the right to know who is working for us and what they are doing with our money. That is something that both Republicans and Democrats SHOULD agree on.
So yeah, as a joke, if you elect me on the Transparency Party ticket, I will serve you well with a complete and open government. You won’t work for me. I will work for you, the public.
(PS. I’m not really running for office. I have better things to do with my life. You know, like enjoy it!)