OPEN GOVERNMENT

A Plan to Ensure Participatory, Transparent & Unbiased Local Government

Every single resident should feel that their government is working for them. Clear, consistent and accessible communication between City Hall and residents is imperative and fundamental to good, responsive governance.

We’ll improve resident access to government, and make sure we listen without bias. We’ll make sure all of our policies and decisions are transparent. And we’ll take steps to make sure all residents are treated equally and know how to reach City Hall, to ensure equitable and efficient city services. Below is our full open government platform.

Make government in Peekskill more transparent and approachable.

  • Host regular town halls and “constituent corner” events to hear directly from residents in their own neighborhoods, to foster open communication.
  • Continue to livestream government meetings post-pandemic, both on government channels and on Facebook and YouTube.
  • Launch a “Resident Hotline” so residents have a single point-of-contact at City Hall to direct all questions, complaints, and requests, with protocols for responses.
  • Create an affordable, streamlined event permit process for cultural organizations and local groups seeking to host events on city-owned property.
  • Review City’s COVID-19 response.
    • Review what worked, and what didn’t.
    • Improve communications for future pandemics or other ongoing emergencies, to ensure residents have easy access to up-to-date information.
    • Lobby state and county for better resources, including vaccination clinics.

Enact policies to ensure City Hall is unbiased and welcoming to everyone.

  • Implement an interdepartmental language access policy, to eliminate barriers and to ensure equal access to services.
    • Translate vital documents into most commonly spoken languages.
    • Offer interpretation services to individuals in their primary language.
    • Audit the most utilized forms & services in each department to identify priorities that need urgent translation, to jump-start the language-access plan.
  • Enact local immigrant protection act.
    • This act will prohibit local government employees from inquiring, collecting or recording information about immigration status where such information is not necessary in order to determine an individual’s eligibility for a benefit or service.
    • It will also prohibit or limit local government employees from sharing a broad range of information with other agencies, except where required by law.
  • Ensure a healthy and safe environment for city employees.
    • Adopt a zero-tolerance policy regarding racism, sexism, and any other forms of discrimination.
    • Bring in a consultant to perform an audit to ensure there is no discrimination based on gender, race, or any other factor, particularly in relation to things like compensation or promotions.
    • Require all city employees and representatives to undergo regular anti-bias training.

Make it easier for the average citizen to participate in Peekskill’s government.

  • Explore feasibility of launching participatory budgeting to give residents an active voice to decide how a portion of capital tax dollars are spent.
  • Increase awareness of and participation on city boards and committees.
    • Publicize opportunities and board vacancies on city channels.
    • Recruit new members from local community groups.
    • Partner with the school district to engage young people.
  • Utilize existing community groups to help shape city policies and priorities.
    • Elevate and engage community organizations, boards and nonprofits.