City of Santa Cruz Offers Blueprint for Solving CA Budget Crisis with Social Media

Peter Koht (City of Santa Cruz)

While the City of Santa Cruz, CA, is best known for its surfing and the beach boardwalk, the City is quickly becoming known for its interactive social media strategy for engaging residents in resolving the City’s budget crisis.

Santa Cruz officials realized that it couldn’t wait 12 or 24 months for community forums and elections; decisions needed to be made immediately with the help of its residents. As a result, the City just launched a special community feedback portal at http://budget.santacruzcityca.gov/ which gives residents an opportunity to offer City leadership constructive suggestions to the City’s fiscal problems.

In this session, Peter Koht, economic development coordinator, will discuss the City’s social media strategy and best practices for other cities looking to use the technology. He will also provide insights to Web 2.0 vendors on the type of issues that local governments are dealing with and the technology they need to address these issues.

Photo of Peter Koht

Peter Koht

City of Santa Cruz

Peter Koht is the Economic Development Coordinator for the City of Santa Cruz. Tasked with improving conditions for new and emerging businesses within city limits with an eye towards preserving the town’s unique environmental and cultural attributes.

A former news editor for the local weekly, as well as a former PR professional working for some of Silicon Valley’s largest companies, Peter is particularly interested in involving more people in the public process through technology.

Peter holds a BA and MA from UCSC Santa Cruz and is working towards his MPA at SFSU.

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