Civic Engagement and Public Participation

How can the City interact with more constituents, in more meaningful ways?

THE FOLLOWING INITIATIVES ARE MOVING THE CITY TOWARDS IMPROVING CIVIC ENGAGEMENT AND PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

  • Increase voter participation in municipal elections

    Voter registration and education popups throughout the City are held regularly prior to elections. The weho.org/elections site continues to be a one stop shop for all voter and election information.

  • Increase civic engagement around the annual budget

    Citing low engagement with the City’s annual release of the fiscal budget, Finance led a project to utilize the creativity and resources of staff to create division budget videos, highlighting priorities for the upcoming year in an interactive and engaging short form format.

  • Creative use of public spaces

    Staff is developing a zone text amendment and guidelines to launch a Construction Fence Art Program for construction fencing and scaffolding.

  • Expand city services through West Hollywood smartphone app.

    Traffic advisories and Southern California Edison outages are now available on Public Stuff.

  • Increase Volunteerism

    • Human Services is directing volunteers to Jewish Vocational Services, which provides volunteer matching services.
    • The City also directs volunteers to ChaiVillage, a digital program of The Jewish Federation, which provides opportunities for members of all ages to assist each other and enrich each other’s lives.

  • Integrate emerging tools for emergency situations

    • The Public Safety Department, in partnership with LA County Sherriff and LA County Fire, filmed an Emergency Operations Center training, enacting an active shooter training scenario, a first for municipal public safety departments. This 53 minute video gives the City a tool to train all staff how to be prepared in an emergency, beyond the core Emergency Operations Center team.
    • Public Safety uses PulsePoint and Nixel to monitor and communicate around emergencies.
    • The City converted a sprinter van into a state of the art Mobile Command Post, to house both LA County Sheriff and LA County Fire incident command staff during emergencies.

  • Take City Hall meetings outside of City Hall

    Community Development is developing a series of popup workshops for upcoming projects.

PHOTO: JOSHUA BARASH

CASE STUDY: EVOLVING COMMUNICATIONS METHODS

To make engaging with the City easy and enjoyable for constituents, as well as expand the reach of communication beyond those who regularly engage with staff, the Communications Department stays at the forefront of technology and innovation. Early adoption of social media trends allows the City to reach the West Hollywood community on the platforms they already use regularly. Tools like Snapchat, Instagram Stories, and Facebook Live have opened up the City to a new audience while making government more accessible and fun for the community.

During the 2016 Los Angeles Pride Festival, the City piloted a social media takeover from actor and local celebrity Willam Belli, giving him access to the City’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. With hundreds of thousands of followers, far beyond the reach of the City’s following, Willam brought the City our best engagement numbers yet – over three times the normal engagement on Facebook and Twitter, and four times over the normal Instagram engagement.

Beyond engaging users during major events, Facebook Live is proving to be an excellent way to engage viewers at events throughout the City. The City takes advantage of Facebook’s algorithm, which places Live stories at the top of users’ feeds and notifies users when the City is broadcasting live. Showcasing daytime and early evening events that are not always accessible to constituents, such as the WeHoPedals Bike Share launch, The Cube Art Installation, and the Automated Garage Ribbon Cutting, brings the City higher video view counts than pre-recorded videos.

PROJECTS IN DEVELOPMENT

  • Shift from long form video on WeHoTV to short form content, more easily shareable on the platforms constituents are using to communicate.
  • Explore emerging technologies such as 3D Cameras and virtual reality to engage constituents.