PLANETCIVIC, A Platform Connecting Local Government, Citizens and Issues, Debuts in Montclair

BY  |  Monday, Nov 21, 2016 7:26am  |  COMMENTS (4)

Today, PLANETCIVIC, a platform designed to transform the way citizens interact with local governments and each other, officially launches in Montclair.

PLANETCIVIC lets Montclair citizens who have ideas for the town get the word out — and the numbers — to back up their proposals. Every user is a registered resident of Montclair and users interact only with other town residents. Users vote to show support for their neighbors’ proposals and results are tabulated and ranked on a real time basis. The end result shows community leaders what residents of Montclair rank as their top priorities for change.

Some proposed community initiatives for Montclair posted to PLANETCIVIC and awaiting votes.

Some proposed community initiatives for Montclair posted to PLANETCIVIC and awaiting votes.

Montclair citizens have already made use of PLANETCIVIC to put forward their ideas (including yours truly who added an initiative about lighting, something Baristanet readers were vocal about here). Other initiatives that live on PLANETCIVIC include a plan to declare Montclair a safe haven for those in danger of deportation; a proposal for town-wide homework guidelines; and a plan to place a stop light in Watchung Plaza. Anyone who lives in Montclair can vote for or against these proposals, or create an initiative of their own in a matter of minutes.

PLANETCIVIC founder and Montclair resident Javier Guardo showing Alma Schneider how to create her "bus buddies" proposal.

PLANETCIVIC founder and Montclair resident Javier Guardo showing Alma Schneider how to create her “bus buddies” proposal.

Montclair is the first community to experience PLANETCIVIC, so its residents have an opportunity to be at the forefront of a movement to make local democracies work better for their citizens. Alma Schneider, a Montclair resident who has proposed a bus buddy system to prevent bullying and promote better social interactions on our school buses, says “I have so many ideas and concerns but limited time to carry them all out. PLANETCIVIC is a great way to galvanize people to make our town better. It’s a quick way to bring the important issues to the forefront. It makes it easy and inexpensive to start a local movement, so underrepresented members of our community can have a voice.”

“We never take a position on an initiative, because PLANETCIVIC is a platform for everyone,” Javier Guardo, founder of PLANETCIVIC. “It’s designed to empower citizens to be engaged in their communities and make their voices heard so we can all, collectively, create positive change in our towns.”

Starting today, Montclair residents can register here https://www.planetcivic.com/prb to find out about what their neighbors are proposing for Montclair or to submit their own ideas or initiatives. PLANETCIVIC pans to present Montclair’s Top 5 Initiatives at the Town Council meeting on January 19.

4 Comments

  1. POSTED BY Frank Rubacky  |  November 21, 2016 @ 9:41 am

    can’t sign in. no error message explanation.

  2. POSTED BY maureenedelson  |  November 21, 2016 @ 12:29 pm

    Buyer beware. Nothing like a big brother program that collects your opinions and can profile you.

  3. POSTED BY jonbonesteel  |  November 21, 2016 @ 12:39 pm

    I met with Javier on this two weeks ago Maureen. It is no more intrusive that Facebook and he has no data sharing relationships with any government agencies. I understand your concerns on such data collection, but I believe this is not such an instance where the information you share is being harvested for distribution to companies such as Axiom or the real big brother who is watching more than you know. I also believe the potential upside for an active participation by our neighbors in town government outweighs the data aspect. JB

  4. POSTED BY Frank Rubacky  |  November 21, 2016 @ 6:01 pm

    OK, I refuse to join Facebook because I’m an old codger, so thanks, enough said.

    Re: “I also believe the potential upside for an active participation by our neighbors in town government outweighs the data aspect.”

    OK, Jon, our Boards & Commissions have gone on record as saying the only formal input they recognize is that given at their meetings. While this Council experimented once in taking their meeting on the road to MSU, you have to go to Township Hall guarantee access to participate. The Councilors, by definition (elected), are better at being open to input outside these forums than their appointed counterparts, but it does not count as participation. Participation to me is having an equal voice.

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I'm struck by how much attention is being paid to the details of a parking lot, as opposed to the attention paid to the future impact of the monstrous projects being planned.

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