Supe goes high-tech to reach his constituents

With the click of his mouse, San Mateo County Supervisor Richard Gordon this week transported himself from the staid chambers of government to the BlackBerries and laptops of his constituents.

Gordon recently posted the first official webcast, called “Community Message, July/August 2007” by a San Mateo County supervisor. New episodes will be posted on the Board of Supervisors Web site through streaming video on a bimonthly basis.

In his first webcast, Gordon describes the new standing committee structure adopted by the Board of Supervisors, his chairmanship of the Environmental Quality Committee, a partnership between the Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Farm Bureau, and the recent budget process.

Gordon, who represents District 3, said he hopes it will increase participation in local government.

“Because this is going to be on the county Web page, folks can immediately click over and access my e-mail and send me a message. I’m hopeful folks will let me know what they think,” he said.

The immediate, interactive nature of the Internet makes government more accessible, especially to young people who grew up using the Internet, Gordon said.

“The Democratic debate using YouTube demonstrates there’s a whole new group of folks that can perhaps be engaged in the process if we use newer technology,” Gordon said.”I’d love to have young people participate, I’d also love to have senior citizens who are accessing the webcast at their senior centers.”

While Gordon is the first of the county supervisors to use webcasting, he’s right in line with one of the cities he represents.

Last year, San Carlos began using podcasts — audio files that can be played on a computer or portable media player — as well as syndicated news feeds of the city’s major announcements.

“As part of the broader Silicon Valley, I think we’re a community that’s far more savvy with technology,” he said.

Gordon’s webcast can be viewed on the San Mateo County Web site, www.co.sanmateo.ca.us.

tbarak@examiner.com


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