Monday July 22, 2013
“Champions of Change” conference to focus on engaging citizens
Mayor Greg Fischer will be the keynote speaker Tuesday at a White House event focusing on one of the key priorities of his administration – using innovation to increase citizen participation in government.
Fischer will speak at 10 a.m. at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building then join in a workshop with other participants and officials from the Obama administration.
Fischer is one of 13 public and private sector leaders from across the U.S. invited to participate in the White House Champions for Change event which spotlights individuals and groups who are “doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities,” according to White House officials.
“From putting city government information online to developing mobile apps that help our citizens connect on the go, open government has been a top goal,” Fischer said. “It’s exciting to have the opportunity to discuss our efforts at this high level and to learn from others who are pushing the boundaries in their own communities.”
In his presentation, Fischer will focus on several ways that Metro Government is making information and services more available to citizens. One is the LouieStat program which uses data to track and improve the performance of city departments and services. More recently, the city launched VAPStat which similarly uses data to monitor the city’s progress in reducing the number of vacant and abandoned properties.
The city’s technology services team has developed several mobile apps to connect citizens including one that allows citizens to view all mayoral news conferences from their smartphone or other mobile device. Newer online mapping tools allow citizens to see where crimes are occurring in their neighborhoods and to track property maintenance complaints and building permits.
The city has also sponsored community innovation projects including Hack-a-Thons, where teams compete to develop mobile apps, and a Code-a-Thon, where 40 individuals worked together to create health-related technology.
In addition, the city worked with TARC to integrate its bus data into Google maps allowing citizens to quickly and easily access bus schedules and plan routes.
Metro Government’s efforts to improve efficiency and provide information and services online resulted in the city being named the top “Digital City” in America for 2012 and top city government website. Louisville was also named a Top 10 city for social media use in 2012.
Fischer will also discuss Louisville’s current Asthmapolis project that is tracking asthma sufferers’ use of inhalers that have GPS sensors to record when and where potential asthma triggers are in the community. The project is a public-private partnership funded by private foundations and is a result of Louisville being chosen as an IBM Smarter City in 2011.
Later tomorrow at the White House, Fischer will join President Obama in honoring the University of Louisville men’s basketball team for their 2013 NCAA Championship.