Riverside, California Rethinks Procurement, Citizen Engagement


The city of Riverside, California has launched a new citizen engagement portal that reflects a comprehensive and well understood study of other municipal efforts in this area. Engage Riverside contains open datasets, budget data, and new twists on procurement in a visually intuitive format.

Users to the portal can gain information about public meetings, report fraud, see budget data, the results of municipal projects and report their own feedback. The portal offers access to more than 815,000 documents including 3.4 million pages of information; online permit viewing; crime reports and fire responses; agendas for City Council meetings, as well as meetings of citizen boards and commissions; and more.

A portal like this is a welcome addition to municipal transparency efforts, as it is well designed and contains actually valuable information about city business. A new twist on procurement is also part of the effort, new RFP features are planned for phase 2.

“EngageRiverside is neither the beginning nor the end of our ongoing effort to improve transparency,
but it is an important step forward,” Mayor Rusty Bailey said. “I encourage everyone to start their own
fact-finding mission at EngageRiverside.com.”

Engage Riverside is the City’s first foray into the realm of social engagement through the use of a tool called MindMixer, which allows Riverside residents to interact with their government in new ways. MindMixer complements existing social media and email tools by providing a platform to engage residents in conversations about Riverside’s quality of life. People who create an account have the opportunity to also provide feedback on projects, initiatives and other questions.