HOW CITIES CAN FIX THEMSELVES

The question was: “There are reports that hundreds of Atlanta police officers may walk off the job again today. Do you support blue flu?”

MY RESPONSE, and MAN, is it a DOOZY!

On the face of it, I cannot say I agree. Duty requires sacrifice. Been there, done that. They need to stay on the job while clearly communicating to city officials — PUBLICLY — that kowtowing to criminals is not the answer. They are the police force. They know law enforcement better than the mayor, better than the DA’s office, and they absolutely cannot and will not tolerate being stabbed in the back by city officials.

That said, “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

So, perhaps relations with the city have become so strained that a walk-off is necessary to garner the attention of obviously brain-dead city officials.
By charging an officer who was undeniably justified in his use of force, Atlanta sent the clear message to all police officers: “We’re more concerned about placating the masses than we are in adhering to the rule of law.”

That’s precisely the OPPOSITE of what MUST occur. You CANNOT EVER hope to reestablish law and order by kowtowing to CRIMINALS. Make absolutely zero mistake about it: Each and every person who failed to keep the protests fully within the law, whether by overstaying a curfew or violating quiet hours, much less tossing bottles, molatov cocktails, rioting, looting, burning, destruction, rebellion and insurrection – They are ALL CRIMINALS.

It’s a CRIME to destroy other people’s property:

18 U.S. Code §?16. Crime of violence definedThe term “crime of violence” means—(a) an offense that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person OR PROPERTY of another, or(b) any other offense that is a felony and that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person OR PROPERTY of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.
All brain-dead Demoncrap nonsense aside, you cannot EVER hope to maintain law and order without a firm hand.

Atlanta’s Mayor and the DA’s Office just sent a crystal clear message to their CRIMINALS: “We will punish anyone who tries enforcing the law.”

Talk about green-lighting crime… Sheesh!

ROAD TO RECOVERY:

1. You have to ditch the hierarchical mechanistic structure inherent in most large (and largely outdated) organizations. It doesn’t work well in business, and it certainly doesn’t work well in government, when you relegate input from the masses to the lowest end of the spectrum while those making decisions are at the highest end of the spectrum.

That approach communicates to the masses, “You are not important.”

Of COURSE they’re important. For one, they pay your salaries. For another, you work for them, not the other way around. For a third, they can bring you to your knees and there’s not a damned thing you can do about it. Thus, it behooves you to KNOCK IT OFF and figure out a better way of representing the masses.

2. A better way of representing the masses: Allow each subdivision to pick three representatives. VALIDATE THEIR PARKING, and if they take the bus, GIVE THEM A VOUCHER. This is no time to be cheap, as I’m about to save you millions of dollars.

These representatives attend monthly, day-long meetings (BUY THEM LUNCH) where they bring their neighborhood’s chief concerns, along with viable solutions.

The meetings will begin with a SHORT i.e. BRIEF briefing (15 min or less) consisting of a SHORT 3-min welcome by the Mayor (sorry, Mayor – it’s your DUTY, and keep politics out of it), followed by a brief schedule of events.
Yes, you can allow various departments to give presentations, but TOTAL presentation time, including this 15 minute briefing, should NEVER exceed 45 min.

The remaining 7 hours of this 8 hour day (total of 9 hours including a 1 hour paid lunch – hey – it’s the only pay they’ll get), is focused on problem identification, brainstorming, resolution and presentation.

HERE’S HOW:

1. First, NOT THIS: “The city of Atlanta, Georgia is made up of 243 neighborhoods officially defined by the city. These neighborhoods are a mix of traditional neighborhoods, subdivisions, or groups of subdivisions. The neighborhoods are grouped by the city planning department into 25 neighborhood planning units. These NPUs are “citizen advisory councils that make recommendations to the Mayor and City Council on zoning, land use, and other planning issues.”

No. We are NOT talking about NPUs, which have undoubtedly been inundated with politics. We’re also not talking about “zoning” and “other planning issues.”

We are not doing effort by the People to help the city government.

We are engaging in open, honest discourse brought up BY THE PEOPLE, whether the city government likes it or not. Swallow your arrogance and pride, city government, and get ‘er done.

2. EACH of the 243 neighborhoods shall appoint 3 people, with one alternate in case one of the 3 cannot attend. How they do that is up to them. Block party vote. Who knows? Let them figure it out.

During the block party, ensure all four people — 3 reps and 1 alternate — are well away of the pertinent issues, THE DETAILS, even the excruciating details, and the 6 W’s: Who, What, Where, Why, How, and When. These are important, as it’s difficult for governments to take action without details.

243 neighborhoods x 3 people each comes to 729 people, total, showing up for this meeting. Given overhead, government workers, catering , etc., you’ll need a facility, preferably all in the same room, that’ll hold 1,000 people, and round tables work better for group dynamics than square or rectangular ones. But if you must use angly tables, put two rectangular tables together to form a rough square.

4. Use a spreadsheet to RANDOMLY assign representatives to groups of 7 to 12 people. No more, no less. If a group comes up short, shuffle members until you have 7 to 12 people.

Aim for 10 per group, as that allows halving the groups into 5 people for some of the exercises. 5 people is an ideal number for getting things done. Group Dynamics 101.

That’s 73 groups, so you’ll need 156 standard rectangular school lunch tables. Make it 200, as you’ll need tables for other things.

5. Use the same spreadsheet to flag neighborhoods duplicated in a group and reassign them to another group. Each group should have no more than 1 person from each neighborhood. If you can’t figure out how to do this, you’re the wrong person — step away and pick someone who knows how to use spreadsheets.

Multi-Cultural Office Staff Sitting Having Meeting Together

6. Group Process – Initial Discovery: 2 hoursa. Volunteer a group secretaryb. Each member list their most pressing neighborhood problem. Just name it at this point. Not yet time to launch into details. Use one sheet of paper per problem. Yes, CALL THEM PROBLEMS. Stop sugar-coating everything. Sheesh! Ok, ok, call them “issues.” If someone lists a problem, er, “issue,” don’t duplicate it. Go to the next most pressing problem on your list. If that, too, has been listed, go to the issue following that, and so on.c. Once all 7-12 neighborhoods have their most pressing problems on paper, go back around getting details + 5 Ws. Limit 10 minutes per details, and this rule is hard and fast, so be prepared, neighborhood reps! Shut down those who cannot adhere to the time limit.

*BREAK*

7. Group Process – Problem Solving – Part A: 2 hoursa. Let the groups decide which problems are the most pressing, and work on those, first, but manage your time wisely and work on the others, as well.b. Break in half, two teams of ~5, and Brainstorm solutions.c. Discuss in subgroups, then together in the whole ~10 person group, taking notes on what the group thinks might actually work.

*BREAK*

8. Group Process – Problem Solving – Part B: 2 hours
Write a one-page summary for each issue, listing the Group Number (1, 2, 3 … 72, 73) in the upper right-hand corner. (staff can use the spreadsheet to identify the neighborhoods, later).

9. Group Process – Presentation: 1 hour
Pick numbers from a hat, 1 through 73, and allow one member from that group between 6 and 10 minutes, with an 8 minute bell, to present the issue the group thought was most important. If the group is deadlocked in picking an issue, have them flip a coin. Name the issue, cover a few key details, and present the 5 W’s. Keep it clean! Also, keep it quite. This is no time for demonstrations.

Useful Link: How to Lead Collective Impact Working Groups

9. Wrap-Up: Scan each group’s one-page summaries for all their issues, sanitize the summaries of people’s names and neighborhoods, hand the originals back to one person from that group, and post ALL one-page summaries online within 3 days so everyone can see the results.
YES: 3 DAYS. You manage an entire city. You can figure out how to do this in just 1 day if you put your mind to it and your back in it.

10. CITY ACTION:a. Organize the summaries by topic, grouping like summaries by topic, when able.b. Create a document, preferably in a database, with each topic, the details, and the 6 Ws.c. Have the appropriate city departments review the issues under their purview and come up with actionable solutions to ameliorate the issues.

No. They don’t get to decide which issues are important, and neither does the mayor. All work for the people, not the other way around. This process is where The People are raising issues The People believe to be most important, and the city is REQUIRED to take action — clear, measurable, decisive action — the progress of which will be monitored by The People and raised in these monthly meetings.

THAT’s how most Fortune 500 companies scream so far ahead above the rest.

THAT’s how cities are going to fix their problems. Not top-down, but BOTTOM UP.

Leave a Reply