Raison d'être

From Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky:
This new website represents my commitment to share with you more of the story of Los Angeles County—what works and what doesn’t. Along the way, I hope to inform, inspire, entertain and motivate you to become active in the issues you and I care about so we can become even better partners. My name, of course, is at the top of this website and, now and again, you may see a picture of me cutting a ribbon or shoveling some dirt at a groundbreaking. But our goal is to promote the issues, not me.

The reality is that this website, reported and written by my staff, is an experiment, representing a new kind of online outreach. There is no time-tested model to follow, just my instinct that you want and need more than you’ve been getting from traditional political websites or from the media.

Let me be clear, we’re not purporting to be a journalistic organization or to end-run traditional news outlets with propagandistic content. We are simply offering you another stop on your daily journey through the web for deeper coverage in areas we’ve long considered priorities: health, transportation, the environment, arts and culture, public safety, social services and the economy.

Finally, I want to encourage you to let me know what you like about the site and what you’d like to see improved. Like most websites, this one will continue to be a work in progress. What you see today is just the beginning as we try to figure out ways we can be more useful. And for that, I need your help. Please drop me a note with your thoughts at zev@bos.lacounty.gov.
Yeah, yeah. I know, I know. It's Los Angeles. County.  Multiple times larger than Pepper Pike.  And he has several staff.  And they do a lot of the writing for the site and blog.

But let's talk scalability. There's very little on his site and blog that can't be replicated at a smaller - yes, much smaller - scale and still be useful.  Since, of course, the needs or our community are also scaled down from Los Angeles (thank goodness - if Pepper Pike were Los Angeles, no offense to LA, but I wouldn't be here).

I love his description of why he's doing what he's doing. As the cliché goes, "What he said."


Adam Harvey said...

Hey Jill! A few things.

1. The link isn't working for me.

2. If you want to get together sometime to jaw about Gov 2.0, eGovernment and all that jazz, I think we'd have a good discussion. I can loan you Beth Noveck's book Wiki Government while we're at it.

3. There are some IT services that the County has in place that might provide y'all with some good cost savings. I know the VoIP telephone system we're using saves us a bunch of money, for instance. If you're interested I'll figure out who is the correct person to put you in contact with.

Adam Harvey said...


Here's my collection of Gov2.0 related links, since I saw you mentioned that you were looking for other stuff in that realm:


It'd be great to compare lists sometime.

If you're not on GovLoop, you totally should be. It's great. A social networking site for gov folks.

Jill said...

Hi Adam,

First, thanks for reading and clicking on links. I guess no one else did or didn't get frustrated enough to tell me. ;) It's fixed now.

2. I heard Beth speak at PdF's annual conference in NYC last year - she was great. I will look up that book for sure.

3. I'd love to get together - let's email off-blog and figure that out.

4. I'm interested to know what the county has that would be of assistance, but I am thinking I need to find out what the city already might be taking advantage of, what it's batted around and/or out already and so on. In other words, get up to speed. To that end, I am working to meet with Rick Hankins, the former council member who was in charge of tech and web and IT stuff (he is the head of IT at the Cleveland branch of the American Red Cross). He and I have worked together in the past and have a good relationship so I think it's a matter of the learning and consumption of information curve, and finding time for all of it. Again - we can discuss when we meet.

Thanks so much for taking the time again to give input - don't stop. :)

Jill said...

Yes!! I did sign up for GovLoop just a few days ago. I've not yet figured out all it does/offers but again, a function of time etc.

I will definitely take a look at that link you left with your resources. There are great ones out there - I'm looking forward to figuring out what could work well for the residents here.