Pew interviews 500 local officials on Internet usage

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A survey of 520 locally-elected officials, such as mayors and city council members, showed that the vast majority use the Internet and say they profit from it. This rapid growth of Internet use is also injecting new life into community affairs. More citizens and local groups are being heard and recognized thanks to email. Some 73% of online officials note that email exchanges with constituents help them better understand public opinion; 56% of online officials say their use of email has improved their relations with community groups; 54% of online officials say that their use of email has brought them into contact with citizens from whom they had not heard before; and 32% have been persuaded by email lobbying campaigns at least in part about the merits of a group’s argument on a policy question.

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