Organizers and participant from the TAP Summit met November 9 with Cuyahoga County Communications Director Nicole Dailey Jones and Chief Information Officer Jeff Mowry to discuss new open government initiatives coming from TAP.

The County has made incredible advances already this fall, including the launch of a new, user-friendly website and the announcement of several developing projects. These include My Cuyahoga Concept aimed at engaging the public in a meaningful way, and the Open Government Transparency Initiative, which provides greater access to information about county contracts and spending.
Communication’s Director Dailey Jones and CIO Mowry shared a presentation highlighting developments at the County to make information more accessible to the public. Check out their progress here:
The group looked forward to more collaboration between TAP and the County in the future, including a partnership to develop a new web app to invite customer service feedback in county departments. If you would like to get more involved, please contact us via the “Contact” link in the menubar above. We will schedule a meeting with CIO Mowry in December to discuss the web app in more depth, and the entire TAP group will reconvene for a follow-up public meeting in January.
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Are you ready for the TAP Summit? Day one of the summit is today, fueled by caffeine and adrenaline. It all starts at 1:00 at CSU’s Levin College of Urban Affairs. We’re expecting over 100 participants, but we still have room for a few more. If you haven’t yet registered, you can register at the door. See you soon!


Redistricting is an issue that we will contend with on many different levels over the next year. Given findings by the 2010 census of declining population in the region, redistricting will occur at the county and congressional level.

Tomorrow, the House State Government and Elections Subcommittee on Redistricting and Senate Select Committee on Redistricting will be hosting the following event:

Regional Congressional Redistricting Hearing
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Cleveland State University
Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs – Atrium
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
1717 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland
Rep. Matt Huffman (R-Lima), Chair of the House Subcommittee on Redistricting, and Sen. Keith Faber (R-Celina), Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting, are holding a series of joint hearings in July and August in order to receive public feedback on Congressional redistricting.
In Ohio, Congressional district plans are enacted by the General Assembly through the legislative process and codified in Ohio Revised Code 3521.01. Due to declining population, two of Ohio’s current 18 Congressional districts will be eliminated.

This will be a good opportunity to advocate for an open and transparent redistricting process. Please join us there.


Tune in tomorrow, July 20 at 9 AM for The Sound of Ideas’ program on government transparency.

If government – from your local school board to the U.S. Capitol – operated in secret, how much would you trust it? On the next Sound of Ideas, we’ll talk to open government advocates about the public’s right to know. We’ll offer expert advice on how to access public records and keep tabs on your government. Plus, we’ll explore how technology is helping to make government more transparent. Join us Wednesday at 9 on 90.3.

Ellen Miller, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Sunlight Foundation
David Marburger, Partner, Baker & Hostetler and author of Access with Attitude: An Advocate’s Guide to Freedom of Information in Ohio
C. Ellen Connally, President, Cuyahoga County Council
Michael Froomkin, Professor of Law, University of Miami and served on Florida Supreme Court Committee on Privacy and Court Records from 2003-2005

More information available here:


June 29, 2011 – County Executive FitzGerald presents at the second of 11 town halls to be held across the county over the next year.


Here’s the list of breakout sessions for the TAP Summit:


  • Digital Divide: Involving non-traditional participants or non-wired residents
  • Improving Trust in Government
  • Open Government Legislation
  • A Public Engagement Process for Charter Review
  • Creating an Intermediary-Friendly Environment
  • Government Responsibilities to the Public
  • Cuyahoga County Website — Long-range Planning
  • A Rights and Responsibilities “Open Government” Pledge for Elected Officials
  • A Rights and Responsibilities “Open Government” Pledge for Citizens
  • Utilizing Gov2.0 Resources


We will be developing four (4) Gov-Public Transparency Projects. Participants in each group will be responsibility for a in-depth knowledge of the project, will be expected to read the group’s homework assignment before the session, and will work in a team of other citizens and government officials to develop a transparency plan and timeline for their project.


Powerful ideas and inspiration from Sunlight Foundation Executive Director Ellen Miller at the City Club of Cleveland on July 1, 2011. Audio from last week’s City Club forum is also up. Podcast available here.

Thank you again to the Sunlight Foundation, Ellen Miller and all their AMAZING staff (woot woot!) for helping us shoot for the stars with this project. Thanks as well to the Gund Foundation for their generous support and the City Club for their contributions and help.


The other kind of Fishbowl

*Thanks to Kevin Cronin for this great recap of Thursday’s event.*
The concept of transparency in government got a bit clearer with County residents and high-level County government staff coming together, in a “fishbowl” community meeting. The open and far-ranging discussion, June 30th at Trinity Cathedral, was an opportunity to let policy experts and County residents explore County government together, raising and answering questions.

Along the way, County residents got an appreciation for the complexity and difficulty in making changes and transforming a multi-million dollar government activity. Government staff people got a deeper appreciation for the depth and fervent desire to take our County’s deepest scandal, loss and shame to drive lasting positive reform. The session offers a glimpse of steps to follow, as Cuyahoga County seeks to create a national model for openness and responsive policy formation, culminating in a Transparency Action Plan Summit July 29-30.

Continue reading »


Last week we had two very successful TAP events: the Fishbowl dialogue on Thursday, and Friday’s City Club Forum featuring Sunlight Executive Director Ellen Miller.

We will be publishing video and audio from both events tomorrow, as well as other updates about the TAP Summit, which is only a few weeks away.

Thanks to all of you who attended last week’s events!

– The Cleveland Coalition


This coming Thursday will be an opportunity to participate in an enlightening and refreshing conversation with senior staff in the new Cuyahoga County administration and Council about their work to make our county government more open and accessible to the people it serves and represents. We will also be joined by statewide Open Government advocate Catherine Turcer who can speak to how our county fits into the statewide context.

Here are our featured guests:

Joe Nanni, Chief of Staff, Council

Nicole Dailey Jones, Comm. Dir.

Majeed Makhlouf, Law Director

Jeff Mowry, Chief Info. Officer

David Merriman, Special Assistant
Catherine Turcer, Ohio Citizen Action

Using a community dialogue format called a “Fishbowl,” members from the audience will have a chance to actually join the featured guests at our roundtable to ask questions about work within the county and share their perspectives on the future of our county. It’s rare to have the chance for such an intimate conversation with our county’s leaders. Please come and add your insight to the dialogue.

The event will be THIS THURSDAY, June 30, 7:00 pm at Trinity Cathedral, Room C/D. The address is 2230 Euclid Ave., Cleveland and parking is available in the big open-space lot on Prospect between E 22nd and E 24th.

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