Before you head out for the weekend, please take a moment to vote for CitizenLex on the Huffington Post website. The project is a finalist in the competition for one of the Bloomberg Mayors Challenge grants. It could be a very big deal for Lexington and deserves a public show of support.
What exactly is CitizenLex?
It’s is an online tool that provides citizens with a platform to suggest improvements to the city and provide access to city data. It opens city government in a groundbreaking way and allows government officials to work with citizens to problem-solve. It’s a bold proposal for our local government because such transparency can open the door to criticism and interests that might otherwise go unnoticed. The openness of the project is a far cry from the mindset that brought us the CentrePoint debacle, which is why CitizenLex matters and is a very good thing.
As Mayor Gray notes in his Huffington Post column,
Giving the people more of a say is challenging for authority figures and elected officials at all levels … it is not for the timid. But it has been proven over the long bend of history that our democratic fabric is stronger when democratic processes are encouraged.
The project is also a good fit for the city because Lexingtonians are increasingly engaged in their community. Skeptics might think that citizens would apathetically avoid an online platform, but the Lexington community is optimistic and engaged. For evidence, look to the Mayor’s virtual and physical town halls, which asked the public for proposals for the Bloomberg Mayors Challenge. Over 7,000 people participated. They generated 440 ideas. That’s a good omen for the problem-solving energy of the citizens. Oh, and 250 Lexingtonians recently got permanent tattoos connecting them to their home. The people are invested in their city.
So again, please vote.
Check out the videos below to learn more: