How to write an Observer Corps Report

The goal of the Observer Corps is to keep track of what happens in the various committees, subcommittees, and commissions that carry out the business of the City of Oakland, and report information of potential interest to the LWVO. The LWVO uses your reports to identify opportunities for engagement with the City and to advocate on behalf of Oakland residents.

The LWVO is interested in knowing if this committee/subcommittee/commission is adhering to agreed-upon transparency standards and practices in its meetings and in doing its business. Transparency touches everything. Transparency is the people’s right-tobeinformed of what and how legislation and ordinances are being constructed and passed, and to have access to timely information with no bars to participation.

As you write your reflection on the meeting, did anything interesting or out of the ordinary happen at this meeting? For example, did a lot of people show up to speak about something contentious? Did some major legislation or policy get proposed or updated? Did a committee/commission member or staff member step down or join? Did something get talked about a lot, unexpectedly or not? Did you notice, or figure something out about how the committee works (or doesn’t work), or see a pattern?

In addition to the issues at hand the LWVO is interested in any issue or proposal involving public access to and input into City government and services, such as issues of government process adherence, civic engagement, access to public records, and equity of access to the political process. With this in mind, was anything in particular that you think the LWVO should take an interest in?

Your reports will be read by members of the Action Committee and possibly other members of the League who might not be as conversant with city government, so we have requested that you provide a short description of the agency you are observing to help direct their thoughts. It can be a short paragraph that you insert each time you submit your report, and it should start with Skip if already read.

To make it easy to submit the report, the form is posted on-line at observercorps.org/report (corps ends with an ‘s, report doesn’t) Don’t go through Google to access the form – type in the URL. Write out your report as a word or other document and then copy and paste it into the appropriate box. The submission boxes may look small – but they will accommodate all your text. When you submit your report it will automatically go to to all the members of the Action Committee and you will get a copy. Submitting your report this way records it and creates archival copies.

rp/gk 1/13/19