Lexington has made it to the Top 20 in Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Mayor's Challenge. "The Mayors Challenge is a competition to inspire American cities to generate innovative ideas that solve major challenges and improve city life." Lexington mayor Jim Gray spent all summer combing Lexington for a winning concept and the perfect pitch. After much collaboration and consensus building, Lexington entered the competition with citizen.lex.org. Today, Huffington Post and Mayor Bloomberg added an online voting Fan Favorite component to the competition. Voting continues through March 6. Arianna Huffington and Mayor Bloomberg write, that the voting process
"is about more than the American Idol of urban innovation."It's about more than the Huffington Post traffic that could be generated by 20 cities full of townfolk swarming their keyboards in the hopes of bagging $5 million bucks for their cities?! Yes! "It's about creating a conversation among engaged citizens about what municipal government can do -- and how it can help lead our country forward." Well then, swarm those keyboards! Go vote for Lexington. CitizenLex is an online platform that lets Lexingtonians who have the next great idea (big or small) get it front of the right people, and maybe even plow it through. Even if the idea summary iswritten in bureaucracy-speak, the platform's goal would put government in the business of solving problems instead of creating them, in the business of encouraging innovation, rather than stifling it. Imagine if Lexington citizens were able to spell out What Lexington Needs (e.g., bike trails), and we were all able to work together to get it in under 25 years. Most of what makes Lexington special are the organic notions that spring up from our incredibly creative population -- brainchilds like Teresa Tomb starting the Thriller Parade, or Drew Curtis starting up the now legendary fark.com. Imagine if there was a system in place, with supportive technology, to nurture those kinds of notions. That's an idea worth voting for. It's what Lexington needs. Click to subscribe to the Ace e-dition (delivered to your inbox every Thursday), and stay tuned for updates.
CitizenLex from the application... "Our Mayors Challenge idea - CitizenLex.org - helps cities turn citizen energy into action through tools that jump start innovative community projects.... Through a knowledge management system (CitizenLex.org), as well as in-person interaction, projects will be facilitated by our two City Innovation directors, project leaders, and a network of volunteer Innovation Mentors, who will provide expert coaching and peer support. City leaders and elected officials often say they want a framework for continuous innovation that engages a broader population. CitizenLex is that framework, with the potential to transform city governments into champions of change ... instead of champions of red tape. CitizenLex is replicable across America. The raw materials required are just people ... and their contagious desire to see their cities improve. We'll share the CitizenLex software and share our story for ease of implementation."