Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity offers a terrific Citizen Watchdog Training Program and they're again bringing it to Ohio with a Citizen Watchdog Training Tour!
It will be mini-trainings in the evenings in Toledo and Cleveland and a full day in Cincinnati. Here are the dates and links to register:
Wednesday, August 15- Toledo: http://citizenwatchdogtoledo.eventbrite.com/
Thursday, August 15- Cleveland: http://citizenwatchdogcleveland.eventbrite.com/
Saturday, August 18: Cincinnati: http://citizenwatchdogoh.eventbrite.com/
There has been some discussion about a session for Dayton, but that's not yet finalized.
The purpose of the training sessions is to give you the tools you need to hold your elected officials accountable. Topics will include Ohio Public Records Law (which I'll be doing), social media, investigative reporting and impacting governmental budget processes.
As Franklin Center 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 minimal $10 fee to cover the cost of the meeting room and the meal that is provided.
I hope you'll join us, not only for the training but also in the growing effort to be active watchdogs of our government!