Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Email Format
Close

Archive

Archive for the ‘Civics’ Category

Civics – 8 in a Series – January 6, 2021 – Sedition, Insurrection, and Treason

January 13th, 2021 No comments

Joshua sukoff 5DDYHjk KMU unsplash

I never imagined when I started this series, that I would be ever writing about the horrors we have experienced as a nation in the last week.

The Constitution clearly states, “We the PEOPLE of the United States of America…”.

This all changed on January 6, 2021. On this day, a certain amount of our citizens decided that rather than continue our nation and government as it has been for 245 years, they would raise arms against their nation and their fellow citizens in an attempt to overthrow it.

A “Rubicon” was crossed that day. 

All of us realized that there are those among us who are not working FOR our society, but rather, AGAINST it. They broke with the basic tenets of society which says that we work together, peacefully — we establish norms and laws, collectively — for the benefit of all citizens. They decided that their rules, their norms, outweighed everyone else in our society and our nation. They raised arms directly against their government and their fellow citizens. I hope that we can all see this as wrong and the antithesis of the society we have tried to create.

Some have tried to establish an equivalency between the summer’s protests against racism and the inequitable application of justice. There is none. Attempting insurrection far outweighs anything we have seen. There can and should be no comparison.

Only one group of people tried to overthrow the government last week. They proudly committed their sedition in public, recording their plans and their actions. They cannot deny it and we cannot deny who they were. WE cannot deflect. We cannot lie about who they were. They showed us exactly who they were through their own voices and actions.

These people assaulted our collective society, attempting its overthrow, while simultaneously wanting to enjoy the benefits of our society, but society and civilization require us all to agree, collectively, on some very basic tenets. To abandon those is to abandon society and civilization.

A civilized society demands that we stand together against those who would seek to destroy it. If we do not we will lose our society, our civilization, and perhaps even our lives.


So, just what is “civics” anyway?

Civics is defined as: the study or science of the privileges and obligations of citizens.

Civic education is the study of the theoretical, political and practical aspects of citizenship, as well as its rights and duties. It includes the study of civil law and civil code, and the study of government with attention to the role of citizens―as opposed to external factors―in the operation and oversight of government. League of Women Voters of Delaware.

In order to have the government we want, we need to both understand and engage in civics activities in our local communities. I am dedicated to doing better in 2021. How about you? 

Civics – 7 in a Series – Follow the money!

December 30th, 2020 Comments off

A wise man once said, many years ago, “Follow The Money” and it has always been true, especially when it comes to civics.

If you want a clear indication of a government’s goals and direction, follow the money using this database for All City Funds, Current balances of all Funds for the City of Los Angeles. Includes General Fund, Reserve Fund, Budget Stabilization Fund, and Special Funds. Upated daily, Monday through Friday.

Civics - 7 in a Series - Follow the money!

If you want to follow Los Angles accounts — and I admit, it can be quite a geeky endeavor — they are online for all citizens to see as yet another database on the data.lacity.org site. I previously highlighted another datas showing the status of 311 calls in the city. This database has a lot more data and can take a bit longer to sort through, but you can use the online tools to slice and dice it in any way you wish.

Civics - 7 in a Series - Follow the money!

Want a deeper understanding of your city. Dive in a swim around in this data for a while and I am almost sure you will find it!

Civics – 6 in a Series – LA City Clerk Connect

December 23rd, 2020 Comments off

Today I turn my attention back to my own backyard with this link to LA City Clerk Connect, the online information system and app for all things Los Angeles Government. Here you will find schedules, ordinances, agendas, committee information, voting records and even a public comment form if you can’t visit city hall in person.

Civics - 6 in a Series - LA City Clerk Connect

There is a lot of information here and I have only scratched the surface myself. You can set automated reminders on various discussions, ordinances and referrals to keep you informed of when action on those issues is taking place. It is a bit quiet for now due to both COVID19 and the holidays, but it will be a great place to check out in preparation for your enhanced civic engagement in the coming  year.

As always, an informed citizenry is a good citizenry!


So, just what is “civics” anyway?

Civics is defined as: the study or science of the privileges and obligations of citizens.

Civic education is the study of the theoretical, political and practical aspects of citizenship, as well as its rights and duties. It includes the study of civil law and civil code, and the study of government with attention to the role of citizens―as opposed to external factors―in the operation and oversight of government. League of Women Voters of Delaware.

In order to have the government we want, we need to both understand and engage in civics activities in our local communities. I am dedicated to doing better in 2021. How about you? 

Civics – 5 in a Series – Tracking Federal Legislation in Process with GovTrack.us

December 16th, 2020 Comments off

Tracking in-process legislation, especially at the Federal level, can be a bit difficult, but GovTrack.us has made it easier by listing bills in chronological order, Trending Bills in the news, and those bills of most interest to their users. 

Civics - 5 in a Series - Tracking Federal Legislation in Process with GovTrack.us

Too often we don’t know what a bill is proposing unless we read the text itself. Sure, the text can be a bit dense and legalize, as is to be expected, but it is still the primary source for understanding the bill. You can’t know how people are spinning a bill to their own ends unless you know what the bill contains.

You can also set alerts on bills so that you get notified when new bills are introduced, changes are made, new laws are passed, and additional legislative activity. Let the information come to you instead of having to go seek it out.

One more great feature is the ability to see who voted Aye/Nay on every single bill. Is your representative supporting your wishes or voting against them. You may not know without checking their votes and voting record.

As always, an informed citizenry is a good citizenry!


So, just what is “civics” anyway?

Civics is defined as: the study or science of the privileges and obligations of citizens.

Civic education is the study of the theoretical, political and practical aspects of citizenship, as well as its rights and duties. It includes the study of civil law and civil code, and the study of government with attention to the role of citizens―as opposed to external factors―in the operation and oversight of government. League of Women Voters of Delaware.

In order to have the government we want, we need to both understand and engage in civics activities in our local communities. I am dedicated to doing better in 2021. How about you? 

Civics – 4 in a Series – Important Civic Notification and Alerts Direct To You!

December 9th, 2020 Comments off

One of the best ways of staying informed of civic information is by letting that information come to you — instead of searching it out each time. This week, I focus on 3 services  that provide up-to-the moment info on various aspects of civil life. These are all separate from the Amber Alert/Emergency Warnings we are all familiar with and do not have the accompanying emergency tones that startle us all. 

For me, I most often relied on the Notify LA system to advise me of Red Flag Alerts and their associated parking restrictions in hillside neighborhoods. When I was visiting computer clients more often int he past, this would let me know if I might need to reschedule appointments as I wouldn’t be able to park in the neighborhood if their driveway did not provide sufficient space. Even though I live in the flats of the SFV, I needed to remain aware of this information to prevent issues with my business — a great reason to sign up.

Notify LA Email and Text Messages

Notify LA Email and Text Messages

There are a variety of ways that the City of Los Angeles can reach you during an emergency. Residents are encouraged to sign up for all alert platforms relevant to where they live, work, and spend time in Los Angeles. Residents can provide multiple points of contacts, multiple addresses for alerts, and set language preferences by registering for the alert systems offered by the City of Los Angeles. 

Sign Up for Alerts

The City of Los Angeles strongly recommends subscribing to both of the following systems:

NotifyLA – Create an account to receive urgent notifications about local emergencies by phone, email, and/or text message. Subscribe to alerts for your neighborhood, schools, businesses, media, and other interest areas. Powered by Everbridge.

Log in to manage your settings – Learn more about NotifyLA

Nixle – Text your zip code to 888777 to opt-in or sign up online to receive email, text or voice messages with alerts and advisories from local law enforcement. This will sign you up to receive alerts from all agencies using Nixle in your zip code.

Sign in to modify your location or settings. List of local agencies using Nixle.

LADWP Outage Notices

LADWP Outage Notices

LADWP now provides a 24/7 outage alert service for customers to receive outage information for up to three (3) neighborhoods. Notifications are for major incidents only. Customers have the option of receiving notifications via texts, emails or both. Messages will be sent after a significant outage occurs, when updates are available, and when power is restored. Please note that outages may affect only portions of a neighborhood, so you may receive an alert even if you are not experiencing an outage.

Create/Sign into Your LA DWP Account

SCAQMD Air Alerts

SCAQMD Air Alerts

South Coast AQMD is helping Southern California residents learn to make clean air choices that will help reduce air pollution, including knowing when it’s important to curtail use of wood-burning fireplaces. 

Bad air quality can contribute to harmful diseases like asthma, lung disease and cancer in some cases. Smoke from residential wood-burning can aggravate health conditions. Check below for more information on how seasons affect air quality and steps you can take to help reduce air pollution, and to sign up to start receiving your air quality forecast and notifications today.

Sign up for Air Alerts

All of these sites also have Twitter feeds you can follow for similar information should you wish to receive alerts in that fashion.


So, just what is “civics” anyway?

Civics is defined as: the study or science of the privileges and obligations of citizens.

Civic education is the study of the theoretical, political and practical aspects of citizenship, as well as its rights and duties. It includes the study of civil law and civil code, and the study of government with attention to the role of citizens―as opposed to external factors―in the operation and oversight of government. League of Women Voters of Delaware.

In order to have the government we want, we need to both understand and engage in civics activities in our local communities. I am dedicated to doing better in 2021. How about you? 

Part of our neighborhood as of 1955 [History]

December 4th, 2020 Comments off

Civics – 3 in a series – Keeping aware of neighborhood activities with SFV Scanner and others on Twitter

December 3rd, 2020 Comments off

On Nextdoor I often see posts like “What is going on? Why are there helicopters overhead? Why am I hearing sirens?” and others. This is natural, as we all want to stay in touch with what is happening in our neighborhood and city,

There are several ways you can sort out what is going on and one great source is Twitter. Here in the San Fernando Valley, we have a great resource in @sfvscanner, an account that monitors scanner traffic and seeks to keep people informed of major events in their area.

 

Civics - 3 in a series - Keeping aware of neighborhood activities with SFV Scanner on Twitter

 

I follow this account, among others, and even have notifications set up on my phone for each tweet that they post. This might be overkill for most people, though. You can also use it as an on-demand resource whenever something is happening and you want to know more.

That said, scanner traffic is notoriously of-the-moment and can show the confusion of an event in progress. It is important to not take everything mentioned as gospel, but rather as a reason to avoid particular areas where police and fire activity is occurring. They also delay or avoid posting information that is too sensitive at the moment to not compromise police operations. They will then post the information once the event has been completed.

By staying aware of public safety activities in our neighborhoods we can protect ourselves and our neighbors and help improve our civic life.

 

Additional Twitter accounts I follow include:

So, just what is “civics” anyway?

Civics is defined as: the study or science of the privileges and obligations of citizens.

Civic education is the study of the theoretical, political and practical aspects of citizenship, as well as its rights and duties. It includes the study of civil law and civil code, and the study of government with attention to the role of citizens―as opposed to external factors―in the operation and oversight of government. League of Women Voters of Delaware.

In order to have the government we want, we need to both understand and engage in civics activities in our local communities. I am dedicated to doing better in 2021. How about you?

Civics – 2 in a series – LA 311 Calls and Status from LACity.org

November 25th, 2020 Comments off

Looking toward the new year, I am making an effort to be more civic-minded and taking more interest in my city, country, state, and country.

Today aI am highlighting the wealth of data available at data.LACity.org. This is public data collected by all the city’s systems and shared online in database format. Today’s resource is a database of all 311 calls (and 311 app requests) for 2020 (and the past, should you wish). 

Have you ever wondered if someone had reported that abandoned sofa on the curb yet? How about the graffiti on the corner or the illegal dumping in the empty lot? Now you can get updated status of these reports and add your own if no one has reported it yet.

MyLA311 Service Request Data 2020

You can slice and dice this data however you wish. I am setting up some custom views for monthly reports and reports by Zip Code and Council District, but they haven’t been approved for public access yet. (Probably the holiday slowing everything down.) Still, you can add filters to limit the data to just your area of interest.

Civics - 2 in a series - LA 311 Calls and Status from LACity.org

There is a lot of interesting data here that Neighborhood Councils could make use of and it is fairly easy to use.

You can also map the data in various ways, like this…

Civics - 2 in a series - LA 311 Calls and Status from LACity.org

Check it out!

So, just what is “civics” anyway?

Civics is defined as: the study or science of the privileges and obligations of citizens.

Civic education is the study of the theoretical, political and practical aspects of citizenship, as well as its rights and duties. It includes the study of civil law and civil code, and the study of government with attention to the role of citizens―as opposed to external factors―in the operation and oversight of government. League of Women Voters of Delaware.

In order to have the government we want, we need to both understand and engage in civics activities in our local communities. I am dedicated to doing better in 2021. How about you?

More Civics in 2021

November 18th, 2020 Comments off

Looking toward the new year, I am making an effort to be more civic-minded and taking more interest in my city, country, state and country.

Part of this involves being more aware of all the city meetings that take place almost daily here in Los Angeles. 

Today, I am starting with resources that give you links to City Council, City Departments, Neighborhood Councils, and More.

This page provides links to all the public city meeting agendas. I wish it were accessible;e via RSS or other API, but at the very least, this is a place you can add to your “daily/weekly visit” bookmarks list in your browser.

Looking towards more Civics in 2021

So, just what is “civics” anyway?

Civics is defined as: the study or science of the privileges and obligations of citizens.

Civic education is the study of the theoretical, political and practical aspects of citizenship, as well as its rights and duties. It includes the study of civil law and civil code, and the study of government with attention to the role of citizens―as opposed to external factors―in the operation and oversight of government. League of Women Voters of Delaware.

In order to have the government we want, we need to both understand and engage in civics activities in our local communities. I am dedicated to doing better in 2021. How about you?