Friday, June 1, 2007

Citizens Give Their Ideas for A New and Improved D.C.

We all could probably think of ways to improve D.C., but who better to ask than the people who actually live and work there? That’s what D.C. Appleseed, a social justice advocacy group, thought, too, so they decided to asked people to give them their ideas. Specifically, they said, tell us what your biggest concern is, suggest a way to fix it, and then say how doing so would benefit the entire city.

The project began in 2006 during the months leading to the local 2006 elections to “provide residents of the National Capital area with a mechanism for bringing their ideas for solving city problems to the attention of city decision-makers”—-a mechanism that was missing.

Evidently, lots of other people felt similarly. Nearly 1,500 ideas were submitted by residents located in all eight of the District’s wards and surrounding states. In late December 2006, DC Appleseed issued a book presenting a summary of the nearly 1,500 ideas submitted during "Solving DC Problems Campaign 2006." The book, which includes a foreword from the mayor and mayor-elect, was presented to all of the District's top officials.

Now, DC Appleseed is working with the District government to create an ongoing collaboration that will give residents ongoing opportunities to present ideas directly to top officials as part of the City's strategic planning process. Read more about the book, Solving DC Problems, as well a piece about the initiative that appeared in the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

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