Wheat Ridge joins Lakewood in Modernizing Public Hearings; Allows Residents to Participate in Public Hearings Anytime, Anyplace Using People Speak Platform

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New study shows citizen participation in public hearings online is up to 10x greater than in-person

As the City of Wheat Ridge finalizes plans to establish a new online public hearing website that allows citizens to participate in public hearings anytime, anywhere, a new study has been completed by the City of Lakewood showing the dramatic impact of modernizing public hearings – a point illustrated by the fact that for every 1 citizen who shows up for in-person meetings, on average 10 do so online.

The data from the new study is from two years worth of public hearings at Lakewood, from August 2017 to August 2019, and seems likely to be repeatable in any community. Key findings from the study show the following from two years of data:

  • The online presentation views have been 5x-10x the number of people watching the live hearings.
  • On average, each agenda item gets twice as many comments online as in-person, meaning overall comments have been tripled.
  • Citizens provide public input online at all times of day and days of the week, revealing the value of increased accessibility.

The City of Wheat Ridge website will be powered by the same Boulder-based firm that partnered with Lakewood to create the software platform. People Speak (https://peoplespeak.net/) software platform allows public hearing video presentations and supporting materials to be published online weeks in advance of the meeting. Citizens can review at their leisure, ask questions and comment through the website–on their desktop or mobile devices.

On April 3, 2019, the City of Lakewood won a National Planning Achievement Award for Best Practice from the American Planning Association for pioneering the use of online hearing software in their community.

About People Speak

People Speak provides an online public hearing software platform for local governments. For more information https://peoplespeak.net/.

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Jason Sperling
People Speak
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