Embracing crowdsourcing technology to engage our civic leaders

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Effective communication between citizens and civic leaders is vital to solving our City’s problems and building a bright future. Our representatives’ job is to carry out the will of San Antonio citizens; however, it is a daunting task for a City Councilor to engage the ~140,000 people they represent. As committed and hardworking as most of our public officials are, this is an unrealistic expectation.

It is time to embrace new technology to communicate more effectively with our leaders. One compelling option is to leverage the power of crowdsourcing, which is why I created an online community called Ideas for COSA.

Ideas for COSA is a crowdsourced suggestion box for our City Council. Anyone can login, submit an idea, and vote on other ideas. The benefit of submitting an idea to the community is that it allows the idea to be validated and refined before it is presented to our local representatives. If the community likes an idea, they can ‘up-vote’ it which gives it more credibility and attention. If the community dislikes an idea, they can ‘down-vote’ it to decrease its visibility and impact. Also, every idea posted to the community has a comments section where it can be discussed.

When the top ideas are delivered to our City Council, they now carry the support of an entire community behind them which adds credibility and encourages consideration by the City Council.

Using a community like Ideas for COSA can drastically improve the way we engage our civic leaders and help achieve the SA2020 Cause of Civic Engagement. We can literally take thousands of ideas and filter them down to a manageable and representative voice of the populous. This type of communication will enable our government leaders to be more responsive and accountable to San Antonians. We can also expect a positive impact on voter turnout as citizens realize this new opportunity to get involved with civic issues.

If you would like to join the community and submit your idea, visit IdeasForCOSA.com and register today. The community thrives on your participation and together we can create the best ideas to improve San Antonio.

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