In Kentucky, only 11% of the electorate have ever contacted one of their elected officials. Only 23% report talking to their friends, family, or neighbors about the issues that impact their community. Even less show up at council meetings, participate in public hearings, or sit on municipal boards and commissions.
That’s not good.
But we think there’s a good reason why this is happening: civic processes aren’t built for everyday folks.
Civic processes can feel inaccessible because the folks that spend all day working on these issues are… professionals that spend all day working on these issues. They have degrees in urban design or finance. They’re used to using certain language and certain approaches. And that’s great!
But it can mean that normal, everyday folks have a hard time engaging with it.
We’re trying to tackle this issue by using social practice and technology to examine and reimagine civic processes at the local level in Lexington, Kentucky.
Relationships are the core foundation of our Democracy, yet they are rarely reinforced in an intentional way.
Our work works to build a more civically engaged community through human interaction, dialogue, and building relationships. This means that we do much of our work in person, trying to bring together people across the power spectrum to co-experience and co-create.
Civic technology often suffers from the same problems that civic processes do.
We design simple, easy to use technology implementations to solve issues like understanding how government is structured, who to engage with on specific issues, and more.