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E-Democracy.org – Project Blog

Minneapolis Neighborhood Forums Grant Proposal – Feedback Request

Written by Steven Clift

We’ve received word that the MSNet fund advisory committee is now reviewing our grant proposal and preparing some follow-up
questions.

Please help us prepare for those questions by taking a look yourself. See the grant application as well as the slides link from here:

http://e-democracy.org/nf

Send your feedback to:

neighbors@e-democracy.org

If you would like to volunteer to serve as a neighborhood forum “co-host” anywhere in Minneapolis (unless you already have an
independent forum in your area), drop us your name and neighborhood.

If you are as excited connecting thousands of Minneapolitans in very very local ways online and interested in generating greater and more diverse participation in the city-wide Minneapolis Issues Forum, help
make this happen.

Thanks,
Steven Clift
E-Democracy.Org

P.S. We certainly hope to expand the network of neighborhood forums beyond Minneapolis. In smaller cities and rural areas we may even see single “community forums” which mix to together local “life” with public issues.” In fact, in Bristol, England our volunteers are experimenting with a neighborhood forum first approach (instead of launching with a city-wide Issues Forum).

The summary from the proposal –
http://e-democracy.org/nf/mplsnhoodforumsgrant-final.doc :

Neighborhood Forums Online

This project proposes three online neighborhood “life” forums in higher immigrant areas of Minneapolis (with higher than the city-wide average of foreign-born population or over 14.3% in the 2000 census).

Built on a shared infrastructure with joint training and outreach efforts, this effort will plant seeds for many more online neighborhood forums across the region.

Our simple publishing model allows anyone to communicate publicly with his or her local community via one simple e-mail address – “mpls-neighborhood@forums.e-democracy.org”. E-mail is the most accessible and most used tool on the Internet. Using and building upon the GPL open source GroupServer platform, participants will be able to participate fully via e-mail and/or the web (their choice) as well as monitor the forum with web feeds (RSS).

As noted in the attached presentation, some neighborhood forums outside Minnesota attract over one thousand participants because they include a mix of announcements and discussions based on the needs and interests of local residents. We seek to build inclusive forums with 200 participants within three months of opening to the public.

While our city-wide Minneapolis Issues Forum focuses on city politics, these neighborhood forums as determined by local
volunteers, will cover “life” topics as diverse as crime and community events to garage sales and discussions about local
restaurants. Think over the “back fence” or conversations people have at National Night Out.

Our budget narrative details the project´s structure and deliverables.

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One Comment on Minneapolis Neighborhood Forums Grant Proposal – Feedback Request

[…] E-Democracy.Org has begun to take their model of city-wide issues forums and adapt them to “neighborhood life” forums, which provide simple online spaces for neighbors to connect and share information […]

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