CIVICLEX IS A UNIQUE NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION THAT IS SOLELY FOCUSED ON BUILDING A MORE PARTICIPATORY LOCAL DEMOCRACY.
We are working to make Lexington a more civically engaged community by providing better access to information, and building relationships between residents, those who serve them, and the processes that impact them.
According to the Kentucky Civic Health Index, less than 15% of Kentuckians have ever talked with an elected representatives in their lives, and only 7% of Kentuckians have ever worked with their neighbor to solve a common problem.
CivicLex first started around an expressed and significant need for information about issues that are impacting Lexington, and education about how local government works. We are trying to fill that need by providing a centralized location for understandable, accessible information about what is happening in our community, and how to get involved.
These processes can be murky and difficult to understand, so CivicLex tries to make them clearer through creative social practice. This can include creating a board game about how to install a crosswalk in your neighborhood or playing a mock game show like 'The Price is Right' to understand the city budgeting process, and how it reflects our values as a community. But education and literacy alone will not solve the deep and complex issues that are impacting our city and region.
Alarming studies over the past decade or so show that our very civic society is fracturing. Trust in our institutions and each other is decreasing at rapid levels, people spend an average of 11 hours per day looking at screens, and we are segregating ourselves into ideologically divergent groups.
To us, the antidote to this is building relationships in physical space, face-to-face, person-to-person.
This is the growing core of CivicLex's work. All of the education and literacy in the world doesn't matter if individuals don't know and can't connect with each other - and trust in our institutions cannot be restored until these relationships extend to those that serve and represent them in government.
We're working - albeit slowly - to bring municipal government employees into the same rooms as citizens that are impacted by the most pressing issues in our community, and trying to build common understanding. Most of the time this is not adversarial or confrontational, but it is simply people doing an activity together - it may be a board game about crosswalks, but it is a common purpose.