Wednesday, January 9, 2019

This new app will pay you $15 per hour to get involved with local government

Posted By on Wed, Jan 9, 2019 at 3:47 PM

  • Impact Photography/Shutterstock

Local government holds an awesome amount of power.

The loud-mouthed orange man who appears on national news every day doesn't regulate our local schools, utility services, and water sources. It’s the local boards that often go overlooked by news coverage and ignored by the public that are charged with many of the decisions that change our day-to-day lives.

That’s why City Bureau’s new Documenter’s program is offering to train and pay Detroiters $15 per hour to attend and document local board meetings, Nieman Lab reports.

City Bureau, a nonprofit civic media organization based in the South Side of Chicago, is partnering with public radio station WDET, the nonprofit CitizenDetroit, and the Knight Foundation to bring the program (which launched yesterday) to the Motor City.

Through the pilot program, City Bureau received 41 applications and now has 11 Detroit-based documenters who attended 12 education-related public meetings over two months.

“It’s a great outlet for me to get engaged and involved in a capacity where I feel safe and supported to learn more about politics and be more engaged, without feeling self-conscious that I’m still learning,” Eleanore Catolico, a Detroit-based documenter, told the Nieman Lab.

“I grew up in Michigan, and growing up I heard ‘you stay in the suburbs’…. There’s still a very strong anti-Detroit bias that’s percolating. The work of Documenters is working to subvert that.”

All of the information collected from the meetings is uploaded to a publicly accessible database that organizes meetings by topic. For your information about how to apply, you can go to

Will Feuer is an editorial intern for Metro Times.

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