What is CivicLex?

CivicLex is a not-for-profit civic education and literacy organization that is working to build a more civically engaged community by making information easier to understand and building relationships between citizens, those who serve them, and the processes that impact them.

How does CivicLex do its work?

CivicLex believes in resolving deficiencies in civic participation by addressing a core root of the problem: many don’t feel connected to civic processes because the processes are not built for them.

We work to creatively reimagine civic processes and bring better access to information with the goal of providing what people need to engage with issues.

Why are we doing this?

CivicLex came out of conversations with Lexington residents on barriers to civic engagement. The consensus was that it can be difficult to find information about civic issues in Lexington - it is usually spread out over multiple locations, including media outlets, non-profit organization websites, and LFUCG databases. We think this makes it harder for the public to find out what is going on and how they can get involved.

 How is CivicLex structured?

CivicLex consists of a 2 person full-time staff, a 15-member Programmatic Board, and an 9-person Governance Board. Our bi-furcated Board structure allows us to have the right people in the room for the right reasons, and tap into the specific expertise of these groups regularly.

  1. CivicLex's Staff - These are the people who do the majority of the work on CivicLex.
  2. CivicLex's Programmatic Board - This group makes helps CivicLex Staff make more informed decisions about the platform, takes a very active role in guiding the direction of the platform, and serves in an editorial capacity for information presented on CivicLex.
  3. CivicLex's Governance Board - This is the Board of the Directors for the parent non-profit of CivicLex, ProgressLex. They make decisions about funding and the overall direction for CivicLex, in consultation with the Advisory Group and staff.

How long has CivicLex been around?

The prototype for CivicLex launched in September 2017, this platform launched in June 2018.

Where did CivicLex come from?

CivicLex grew out of the non-profit organization ProgressLex, and is a partnership between their Board of Directors and the non-profit online media outlet UnderMain. In 2016, after a year of being dormant, ProgressLex underwent a reframing process to determine if it should continue to exist, and if so, how to focus its energy.

During this process, ProgressLex applied for the Knight Cities Challenge for the CivicLex project, and though the project was a finalist, it did not win. In 2017, the ProgressLex Board, with UnderMain, decided to continue persuing the project without this grant funding.

How does CivicLex select issues to cover?

Issues are selected for coverage through CivicLex's Advisory Group. They are first submitted either through our platform or through our staff or Advisory Group, and then are reviewed against a simple rubric. After review, they are then placed in the pipeline for coverage based on timeliness, interaction with other issues, and more.

What's with the colors?

You may notice that we have a standard set of colors we use. Each of the colors we use represents a "sector", and we use it to code Issues, Events, and more to those sectors across all of our work. For us, its an easy and visual way to keep track of things, and our goal is that is subconsciously does the same for folks interacting with our work. You can see a chart of our colors here.