Hashtags and Politics CAN Mesh Well

New Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (@EricGarcetti) has resorted to new technology to accomplish his objectives of providing job opportunities as well as streamlining local government initiatives. According to Garcetti, he plans to deliver a rotary-phone type of government into the futuristic smartphone age. How? The new mayor provided several examples of how his office is aiming for the techie approach, such as featuring the hashtag #lamayor on his new office, making a virtual guide for his inauguration on a mobile app called ?Guidebook? and putting more emphasis on social media tracking and communication. The hashtag #lamayor is intended to become an online venue where the people of Los Angeles can forward their requests, concerns and sentiments regarding the city. Garcetti hopes that social media can bridge the gap between political leaders and citizens by allowing people to make reports directly to the online office. The hashtag will be observed by Garcetti?s staff. Los Angeles residents can write their appreciations to the mayor, report crimes, share suggestions on infrastructural developments and comment on financial and economic matters. To date, #lamayor has generated over 15,000 tweets and made over 221 million impressions in a span of three months. Hashtags are now being used by politicians to get closer to citizens. A lot of social media users also find the approach quite beneficial since the process of addressing their concerns becomes more convenient. Leaders, in effect, can track public opinion and determine the trends and demands of people to guide their decisions. A number of offices and agencies in the past have also resorted to social media to communicate and respond to people better, such as #ActonClimate and #Obama.

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