Maui News

“Twitter Town Hall” on State’s Early Learning System

January 22, 2013, 7:28 AM HST
* Updated January 22, 9:09 AM
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State Capitol, file photo by Wendy Osher.

State Capitol, file photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

Lawmakers will take comments and questions on the creation of a state-funded early learning system in Hawaii during a “Twitter Town Hall” event this afternoon.

Governor Neil Abercrombie enacted Act 178 into law on June 28, 2012, which established the Executive Office on Early Learning. The office was formed to build the framework necessary to establish the first phase of Hawaii’s Keiki First Steps Program.

The session, hosted by the Senate Education Committee, runs from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Participants can tweet their questions and comments, receive live answers and view the senator’s replies by using the hashtag #askjill.

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“Social media provides an innovative mechanism for policymakers to engage constituents in new and meaningful ways,” said Senate Education Committee Chair Jill Tokuda. “Through extending our reach online, I hope to open the doors to greater dialogue about how we are working together as a state to create a publicly funded early learning system that focuses on school readiness, and encourage individuals to identify ways in which they can be involved moving forward.”

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Using the 140-character “micro-blogging” platform, Twitter, participants can tweet their questions and comments, receive live answers and view the senator’s replies. Senator Tokuda will be tweeting answers to questions through her Twitter handle @jilltokuda.

Executive Director of the Executive Office of Early Learning Terry Lock has been invited to join Sen. Tokuda to answer questions during the event.

A Twitter Town Hall, sometimes referred to as a Twitterview, utilizes this social media platform to produce an informal public policy forum. This event will be the second time Tokuda has conducted a Twitter Town Hall to engage the public in key issues.

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