Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Holding state and local governments accountable

Learn to expose waste, fraud, and abuse in Ohio state and local government.

Become a Citizen Watchdog.

The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity and the Ohio Chapter of Americans for Prosperity are presenting a day-long training session on Saturday, May 12th, to teach you the tools and skills you need to be a Citizen Watchdog and help hold your local and state government accountable to the people.

The session runs from 9 - 5 at the Westerville Conference Center just north of Columbus. Here is the draft agenda:

9:00 – 9:30am – Welcome and Introduction To Citizen Watchdog Program
Mary Ellen Beatty, Franklin Center
Katie Eagan, Americans for Prosperity

9:30am – 10:45am – Investigative Reporting: Breaking Stories That Force Change
Todd Shepherd, Independence Institute
Learn to think like an investigative reporter, identify potential leads and expose backdoor deals at the municipal and state levels. In his six year reporting career between Oklahoma City and Denver, Todd has broken numerous stories, and is the winner of three regional Edward R. Murrow awards, one of those for investigative reporting.

10:45-11:15am – Follow Your Money: Local Government Spending in Ohio
Greg Lawson, Buckeye Institute

11:15-11:45am – An Overview of Ohio Public Records Law
Maggie Thurber, Former Lucas County Commissioner

11:45am – 1:00pm – James O’Keefe – Exposing the Establishment Media: Telling the Real Story
Lunch and Keynote Speaker

1:00pm-1:15pm – Break

1:15-1:45pm – How To Be a Video Activist
Jason Hart, MediaTrackers.org

1:45-2:30pm – Social Media 101: Using New Media to Create Public Pressure
Tabitha Hale, Franklin Center

2:30-2:45pm - Break

2:45- 4:00pm PANEL: Holding Your School Districts Accountable: Exposing Waste and Abuse in Ohio Public Education
Moderator: Katie Eagan, State Director of Americans for Prosperity- Ohio
Matt Mayer, Provisum Strategies LLC
Seth Morgan, AFP-OH Policy Director

4:00- 5:00pm – Legal Tools to Protect Your Liberties
Chris Finney, Citizens Against Spending and Taxation (COAST)
Maurice Thompson- 1851 Center for Constitutional Law

The need for citizens to be involved is essential, as the Franklin Center web site explains:

An engaged, citizen-driven media was one of the driving forces behind the birth of American democracy. The preservation of our republic is incumbent upon the continued participation of our public in observing, reporting, and holding our government accountable at all levels.Today, we face an abundance of challenges and opportunities. Challenges because the decline of the establishment media has been occurring at an alarming rate, with tens of thousands of journalists losing their jobs over the last few years. Opportunities because the public now has access to more tools that allow them to actively participate in government, and to make their voice heard to the public at large, than at any time before in our history.

The greatest threats to our freedom and prosperity occur when citizens lack information and government officials escape without accountability. It’s at the school board and city council meetings where no reporters are present to cover their activities, and no members of the public present to observe their conduct.

Franklin Center is dedicated to preserving and strengthening democracy through promoting citizen journalism and engaging the stakeholders of America’s future to serve as watchdogs at the local, state, and federal level

There is a nominal $10 fee which covers the cost of lunch and materials. You can go to www.CitizenWatchdogWesterville.eventbrite.com to RSVP.

Hope to see you there!

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