Thank you for signing up for EJC’s Civic Reports!
We want to make sure you know exactly how to utilize this resource so that you can find the information that you’re looking for and get more engaged in the legislative activity in your community. If you have specific questions that aren’t addressed on this page, reach out us!
What are Civic Reports?
In recent years, there has been more and more media coverage on Georgia’s legislative activity than ever and there are countless other resources for tracking national legislative bodies, but one thing we noticed was that there was a real gap, particularly in rural areas of Georgia, in finding details for the legislative activities on a hyper-local level.
The inspiration for Civic Reports came as we looked at our organization’s current capacity and worked to find ways to create more educational tools for civic engagement in our 13-county region of Northeast Georgia.
Each of the counties that we cover will have a Civic Reporting page where we will log and track legislative activity, voting records of elected officials, and opportunities to engage with policy-makers so that we can make a lasting impact on how those policies are codified.
Who writes Civic Reports?
Currently, Civic Reports are authored by our EJC Staff including both the district office team and the field teams. Civic Reports are standardized reports, designed to collect data and facts on action, not opinions and ideas about the actions. In this way, they are both unbiased and nonpartisan. View a blank Civic Report here.
As we grow and expand our capacity, we will be inviting Citizen Civic Reporters to volunteer and contribute to the resource. Each Civic Reporter undergoes specific training on Georgia’s Open Meetings Laws, How to Write Unbiased Minutes/Notes, and signs a pledge of non-partisanship to ensure that this resource remains an honest reflection of the actions and events that occurred.
Civic Reports belong to the communities that they serve! And we will need the community’s support to ensure that they are complete and comprehensive records of legislative activity.
How do I navigate and use the Civic Reports entries?
Each Civic Reports page will have a similar layout.
At the top of each page, you’ll see the county and the names of the Civic Reporters that are contributing to the page.
Below that is a summary of the County’s plan for reporting. This will include the types of meetings that they intend to cover.
Next you will see two buttons. The first button takes you to the page where you can sign up for a weekly update that includes a summary of the activity that has been reported that week.
The second button will take you to a page where you can sign up for the next training to onboard to become a Civic Reporter!
At the bottom of the page, the Civic Reports will be listed in order with the most recent report at the top of the page. Each report will be organized with clickable words that will help you filter and organize the content according to your own search.
You will be able to see all the reports that have been tagged with a topic that you’re looking for like housing development or you can click on an elected officials name to see all the reports where they are mentioned or where action occurred that included them.
On the right side of the page, the sidebar will host a chronological list of events and meetings for the county. Clicking on these meetings will take you to a Google Calendar where you can copy the event to your own schedule or invite other people to the event.
These events will include either policy-making meeting events or informational/educational meetings that could potentially impact policy in the future.
Which policy-making meetings are covered for Civic Reports?
The minimum coverage for Civic Reports is Board of Elections Meetings and the local City/County Meetings (Mayor and Commission, etc). In many counties, we will also cover the local Board of Education meetings.
From time to time, there may be other meetings that will be important to cover because they can set the direction for policy before it is codified. This includes, as an example, the Planning Commission because the conclusions drawn in these meetings often impact issues like Development, Housing, etc.
Each county’s team of Civic Reports will collaborate to build out their county’s Civic Reporting Resource Page to be a reflection of what matters to their local community. EJC will work to meet the needs of building out infrastructure to support expanding a county team’s ability to track meetings.
Why aren’t you covering legislative activity in my county?
Right now, EJC covers a 13-county region of Northeast Georgia that includes Banks, Barrow, Clarke, Elbert, Green, Hart, Hancock, Jackson, Madison, Morgan, Oconee, Oglethorpe, and Walton Counties.
If you’d like to see Civic Reports in your county, let’s connect so that we can help you with the necessary skills and tools to start tracking legislative activity in your county!
Can you send me texts for time-sensitive calls-to-action in my county?
Yes! From time to time, there are opportunities to impact policies and legislation before they are codified including public comment, joining an advisory board of committee, emailing your representative or even just the physical act of showing up to a meeting in solidarity. If you’d like to be alerted to these opportunities by text, you can opt in by updating your information here to include your cell phone number.