Councilmember Garcia uses web campaign to urge residents to engage in LB’s new courthouse project

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courthouse-project-petitionMore than 100 residents responded to Councilman Robert Garcia’s call for public comments on the new Long Beach Courthouse project currently being planned by the State Administrative Office of the Courts. The number of letters represents more than five times the number of attendees at the only public meeting held by the State on this project, which occurred last Monday, at which fewer than 20 residents were present.

The campaign began just a week ago, and the letters were sent today, just in time for the 5pm deadline.

“The Courthouse project will have a huge impact on our community, and we want to ensure the impact is positive,” said the Councilmember. “We want a building that is environmentally responsible, physically inspiring, and well-managed. We want to make sure local jobs are created and public safety protected.”

Residents’ letters – many of which were modeled on a template provided by the Councilmember’s office – reflected these concerns.

Councilmember Garcia also called for government to improve the use of technology to involve citizens in government decisions, noting that the public comment process for the courthouse project was short and not as well publicized as it might have been. “I’m committed to continuing to use technology to facilitate increased citizen participation in government, and I believe government must do a better job in this area,” Garcia said.

Garcia promised to involve constituents as much as possible as the project goes forth. “This is a State project, so Long Beach doesn’t have any officially decision-making capacity. But the project impacts our community directly, so I feel we need to make sure our voices are heard loud and clear in Sacramento, and that’s what this web campaign was about.”

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