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W♥V ISSUE:  Part II of a Series on Pay-to-Play Reform:

The Civic Health Survey:  

The Survey was administered in Newark, but its questions are pertinent to every town which seeks advice from the Citizens Campaign.  Here are the areas which the Center for Civic Responsibility's recommended Survey investigates: 

THE SURVEY

POLITICAL PARTIES

  1. Are there any vacancies in political party committees?Do local political parties have party constitutions and bylaws and do they give representative power to the elected committee people? Do local political parties have a public platform process?

    LOCAL ELECTIONS

  2. Does the municipality have a ban on political fundraising in government offices?
  3.  Is there an ordinance to ensure that developers must disclose their local political contributions when they seek highly discretionary development approvals from the planning or zoning board?
  4. Is there an ordinance prohibiting professionals from making large political contributions during negotiation and performance of local government contracts?
  5. Are the levels of campaign spending for local elections within the reach of the average citizen?

    APPOINTED GOVERNMENT POSITIONS

  6. Are there vacancies in citizen positions on boards, commissions and authorities appointed by the municipal government?
  7. Does the municipality list all of its appointed citizen positions in a public directory?
  8. Has the municipality adopted a formal and open application process for  citizens to apply for positions on boards, commissions and authorities?

    DIRECT CITIZEN ENGAGEMENT IN LOCAL PUBLIC POLICY

  9. Does the city or town council have a procedure designed to facilitate  citizen input at its meetings?
  10. Does the City of Newark website list and keep updated meeting   dates/times, agendas for council planning board and zoning board meetings, and the procedure to request government documents?
  11. Does the Newark Public Schools website list and keep updated meeting    times/dates, agendas and minutes for Advisory Board Meetings?

    CIVIC EDUCATION

  12. Does the school district’s adult education offerings include civics classes on local government and local political parties, citizen’s rights and opportunities for participation?
  13. Do the high schools teach civics classes that include the rights of citizens to participate in local government and local political parties?