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REGIONAL.LA: Delivering Community Engagement to Los Angeles County

REGIONAL.LA

Social enterprise or B-corps

REGIONAL.LA is a civic engagement tool that allows residents to find and connect with their civic community according to local geography: cities, neighborhoods, and service areas.



What does your organization do?

REGIONAL.LA is a civic engagement tool that allows residents to find and connect with their civic community according to local geography: cities, neighborhoods, service areas.

Please describe the activation your organization seeks to launch.

Regional.LA will launch a campaign to connect the 2000+ governmental agencies & bodies within Los Angeles County with the residents they serve via tailored social media tools in order to improve gov’t response, resident participation, and social media connections between residents. Work will consist of in-person outreach and ongoing software development, starting with neighborhood councils and branching out to ultimately include all levels of government.

Which of the connect metrics will your activation impact?​

  • Government responsiveness to residents’ needs
  • Participation in neighborhood councils
  • Total number of local social media friends and connections Angelenos have

Will your proposal impact any other LA2050 goal categories?

  • LA is the healthiest place to LIVE

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • Central LA
  • East LA
  • San Gabriel Valley
  • San Fernando Valley
  • South LA
  • Westside
  • South Bay
  • Antelope Valley
  • County of Los Angeles
  • City of Los Angeles
  • LAUSD

How will your activation mobilize Angelenos?

  • Digital organizing or activism
  • Create new tools or technologies for greater civic/political engagement
  • Increase participation in political processes
  • Connect Angelenos with impactful volunteer opportunities

Describe in greater detail how your activation will make LA the best place to connect?

Information exchange between government and residents is disjointed and one-way, with each agency or body employing its own broadcast channel.

A tool is needed that allows residents to gather all of these streams into a single flow and also to add their own voice in the dialogue.

REGIONAL.LA is a social media tool that allows residents to find and connect with their civic community according to local geography: cities, neighborhoods, service areas.

By bringing these parties together, REGIONAL.LA allows residents to obtain better response from their local governments, participate more meaningfully in their neighborhood councils and other bodies, and form more & deeper social media connections with other residents through shared participation.

Regional.LA works as follows:

(a) PLUG-IN: Create an account and link it to your other social media so that you may consume the experience in your preferred environment (Regional.LA means to work with other social media platforms rather than compete).

(b) GEOGRAPHIC DISCOVERY: Identify your address or neighborhood and be presented with a list of gov’t agencies & bodies operating in your area (this is accomplished by analyzing intersections between your area and the service areas of the gov’t entities).

(c) EXPEDITE SERVICES: Browse from available services listed by local gov’t entities and submit any requested info that would expedite these services (Gov’t can serve you better if they know you better). This can apply to utility initiation, emergency response, volunteer opportunities, etc.

(d) STAY INFORMED: Subscribe to news feeds from gov’t entities in your area.

These software capabilities have already been deployed in early form in select pilot areas, and over the course of the grant life cycle deployment will be expanded ultimately throughout all of Los Angeles County. In addition, deployment will be accompanied by a robust “ground game” of local ambassadors, drawn from local communities, and funded to actively promote adoption of the platform in their areas.

This activation will enhance GOVERNMENT RESPONSIVITY by providing a venue for direct citizen/government connection: residents can discover and make themselves known to their local government agencies, facilitating better interactions. Furthermore, governments can post surveys & questionnaires and also advertise volunteer opportunities and services –residents can respond & register online to enhance government response.

This activation will enhance CITIZEN PARTICIPATION (voting) in Neighborhood Councils by providing (a) a means for the Councils to have a higher profile amongst residents and deliver more value to residents, and (b) a means for Councils to actively advertise and facilitate voting opportunities.

This activation will deliver more and deeper SOCIAL MEDIA CONNECTIONS among residents by providing new ways for them to participate together in activities of common interest, thus promoting direct residents-2-residents discovery.

How will your activation engage Angelenos to make LA the best place to connect

This activation is aimed at all civic-minded social media using residents in LA County, likely numbering far above the 100,000 person goal set by LA2050.

This activation will reach out directly to the 2000+ governmental entities operating in LA County (starting with Neighborhood Councils and moving “up” from there) and utilize these entities as a vector to reach as many of the 10 million+ residents of LA County as possible.

Although the history of the Internet is replete with cases of endeavors that enjoyed instant success from viral adoption with no marketing required, this activation makes no such assumptions and instead includes a strong “ground-game” based upon in-person action at the Neighborhood Council level.

Ground-level Ambassadors will work to ensure that government responsivity to residents’ needs is being positively impacted by dialoging with gov’t agencies to discover their needs and assisting them in utilizing the tool for best effect.

Ambassadors will work to ensure that voting rates and general participation in Neighborhood Councils is positively impacted by similarly interfacing with Council Boards to understand needs and share best practices culled from other Councils.

Finally, Ambassadors will also reach out online to the residents themselves via online forums in order to monitor and understand how the tool is being adopted by individuals, and make recommendations back to Management towards improving end-user experiences.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your activation.​

GENERAL GOAL: ACTIVATION OF 100,000 ANGELENOS

Definition
The number of accounts created in the system and/or joined from other social media accounts into the system.
Measurement
Via direct counting of system accounts within the software system.

METRIC: GOVERNMENT RESPONSIVENESS TO RESIDENTS’ NEEDS (dream)

Definition
The number of actions taken by governments in response to resident requests made through the software system (acknowledgement of request, followup activities, final resolution, etc).
Measurement
Via direct reporting from the metric-tracking component of the software system.

METRIC: PARTICIPATION IN NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCILS (voting rates)

Definition
LA2050 has defined this metric as the voting rates in Neighborhood Councils.
Measurement
Via year to year comparison of vote counts.

METRIC: TOTAL NUMBER OF SOCIAL MEDIA FRIENDS/CONNECTIONS (dream)

Definition
The number of new social media friend (person to person) and connection (person to group) links made via the system.
Measurement
Via periodic automated tallying of user social linkages.

Where do you hope this activation or your organization will be in five years?

Our goal for this activation is to use Los Angeles County as a laboratory and ultimately a template for replicating our success here into other places.

In terms of adoption, five years from now we hope to see very strong adoption in Los Angeles County as well as numerous other regions, with the number of residents using the tool being equivalent to those presently utilizing generic social media for civic engagement (defined as social media users who are members of one or more neighborhood-themed interest groups).

In terms of capabilities, we expect that the system we will have five years from now will have evolved greatly from what we initially launch, with that evolution being strongly informed by feedback from our user base of residents and governments.


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