Citizen Education and Engagement Are Key to Good Governance

A few days ago, I sent an email to my email distribution list.  Thousands of Milton’s citizens received my email announcing that I had re-launched the Milton Coalition blog in advance of the 2021 City Council elections.  I was encouraged by the response.  My email program and my blog both provide aggregated statistics on citizen responses.  My dashboard shows that 44.1% of citizens opened my email and that 21.6% of these readers clicked through to the Milton Coalition Blog.  This compares with an average open rate of 19.34% and clickthrough rate of 12.66% for political emails.  Also, my dashboard indicates that, on average, each person opening the email forwarded the email to one other person, thereby doubling the email’s distribution.  Thank you.  My blog dashboard shows that the blog has been viewed over 450 times (over 10% coming from citizens’ posts on social media) in the past 48 hoursAround two dozen citizens became new subscribers.  Welcome.  I am humbled by your trust and confidence as indicated by these statistics.  And I am (once again) encouraged by the engagement of so many Miltonites in local good governance.  It is my firm belief that excellent local governance correlates closely with citizen engagement and that education is a necessary prerequisite to such engagement.

Screenshot From Milton Coalition Email Dashboard

When I first engaged in city government in late 2015, it was obvious to me that there was a need for well-reasoned, well-researched perspectives on City government.  The Milton Herald provided some coverage, but it lacked depth and analysis.  And the paper’s editor also seemed to be biased toward one of the two factions battling it out in Milton.  There were also communications from the City, but most were the equivalent of cotton candy—a lot of air and very little nutritional value.  And finally there were several partisan Facebook pages, where the back-and-forth dialogue resembled the verbal equivalent of a food fight.  A lot of nastiness, but little insight.  Does anyone really change their minds based on these Facebook battles? In view of this dearth of accurate and actionable information, I launched the Milton Coalition Blog and slowly built up readership.  It has been a labor of love for me.  Since the blog’s inception, I have published over 275 blog posts.  At times (the run-up to the 2017 election or key City Council meetings), the blog has attracted many hundreds of readers daily.

My hope is that the blog will once again provide citizens with a source of useful information and insights in the run-up to the City Council Elections.  Please feel free to reach out to me with comments and questions.  Please let me know if you find any factual errors, but realize that my opinions are my opinions (supported by facts).  Please feel free to challenge me . . . I welcome an honest, respectful debate.

Advocating for Citizen Engagement,