Author Archives: michelleahnmills

Lucidpress

If you’re looking for an inexpensive online design tool, you may want to check out Lucidpress. I am probably one of the least creative people in my field so I’ve learned to use whatever help I can get.

Lucidpress offers the capabilities to design for both print and online content and includes templates from which to build. I’ve done an economic development tool with their ebook template for my county manager, annual reports, online newsletters, presentations, and flyers. The program is flexible, and the support is fantastic. If you have questions, all you have to do is fill out a short form, and they will contact you by phone or email pretty quickly. While some design programs are limited, Lucidpress allows the user a lot of freedom¬†which helps to create unique content. It even has the capability to track how many times an online publication is opened. The price is reasonable with a year’s subscription only $155.40 for access to their Pro account.

There is a free trial so if you’re interested or in need of an easy tool to help with design, check it out!

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Engage Riverside

The City of Riverside in California has made informing and engaging citizens a priority to their community. Their website, Engage Riverside, is devoted to various ways of providing the community transparency and engagement. It includes tabs for Open Records, Budget and Finance, Open Data, Fraud Hotline (which in the spirit of transparency encourages citizens to share their concerns of city employees or city vendors that may be a part of fraud, waste, or abuse of City assets), Share your Ideas ( which has short blogs or questions that encourage resident input, polls, and information on community forums), Results, Maps, and Council/Board Meetings. The website is user-friendly and includes transactional options, visuals, and several ways to engage residents. The Council/Board Meetings is one of the features that I wanted to highlight because citizens can see the agenda, meeting notes, and make ecomments on each item. While submitting or posting agenda information is mandatory, Riverside took it a step further in understanding that our lives our busy and that attending city council meetings or board meetings can be challenging. They designed an easy, organized system to open up dialogue for input. The mayor talks briefly about this initiative in the video below.