I know I’ve asked for post ideas before, and I haven’t followed up on any of the ideas. (To recap, “Lost Villages of Worcester” won, and I’ve been doing intermittent research for that. Emily wanted me to discuss making the city more walkable, and I’ve been doing a lot of reading on urban design and walkability, which is, of course, belied by my lack of posting on the subject. Someone — probably my husband — recommended an ‘in-depth exploration of area strip clubs,’ which I will leave for another blogger to tackle.)
Along with dog parks, we’d been discussing how to get citizens more involved in the city. T-traveler recommended that the virtual community pick two or three ideas, and prioritize one to really push/work with city government to address.
There are no existing government-sanctioned vehicles for this kind of discussion, but I think this might be an experiment worth pursuing. Here’s how we’ll do it:
1) In the comments section of this post, leave one or more ideas you’d like to see the government work on with the help of citizens. They could be tech-focused (i.e., create a City of Worcester suggestion website similar to Manor Labs). They could be variations on something you heard a city councilor talk about (i.e., at the last City Council meeting, Kate Toomey talked about colleges paying students to work at the public library via workstudy; what if we approached colleges with early childhood education programs and asked if students would be interested in volunteering to do some storytimes?). They could be small (fix the swings in Elm Park) or large (pick a park a year for a volunteer team to improve).
2) On Tuesday, I’ll compile the ideas and put up a poll (because the real point of all this is for me to have another poll; I should just apply to work for the T&G web team). We’ll give people a couple of days to vote.
3) A blue-ribbon panel (me and my cats) will select an idea from the top three vote-getters for us to pursue as a virtual community. (I have no idea what that will entail, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.)
I look forward to reading your ideas!