Philadelphia, November 21, 2011 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter and the Mayor’s Office of Communications announced the launch of the ‘Change By Us Philly’ website. This website serves as an interactive, social media platform that enables citizens to connect with City officials, community-based organizations and each other to share ideas and create projects to benefit the City of Philadelphia. The website is accessed at philly.changeby.us and is operational.
“Our Administration wants to know what is important to its citizens and actively works to make the changes Philadelphians want and need,” said Mayor Nutter. “The ‘Change by Us Philly’ website is an innovative, social media tool that will enable Philadelphians to present ideas to City officials, get involved with existing City projects and create new initiatives to make Philadelphia a smarter, safer, greener, cleaner and better City.”
Change By Us Philly was created by Code for America, CEOs for Cities and Local Projects with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The website will be administered by the Mayor’s Office of Communication. The Office of Communication will be assisted by non-profit partners with site maintenance and upkeep.
“The City of Philadelphia has been a pioneer with its use of technology to engage citizens, and it is continuing its leadership by launching Change By Us,” Jennifer Pahlka, Founder and Executive Director of Code for America said.
Julia Klaiber, Director of External Affairs at CEOs for Cities said, “Our ambition with Change By Us was to reinvent public participation in America. The traditional models no longer work in a world where technology is a primary method of engagement and where citizens can and should be co-creators of civic solutions. It is a true testament to Mayor Nutter’s leadership that Change By Us is launching in Philadelphia.”
In addition, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced a $25,000 civic innovation grant program, which will incorporate the use of the Change By Us Philly platform.
“Philadelphia has long been a city of innovation and invention, and Philly residents are eager to find solutions that strengthen their neighborhoods,” said Donna Frisby-Greenwood, Philadelphia Program Director for the Knight Foundation. “Change by Us is just one of the ways that new technology, in the hands of residents and leaders, can put citizen action at the center of community change.”
Philadelphians create user accounts at philly.changeby.us to begin posting ideas, joining or creating projects on the site and connecting with resources. An “idea” on Change by Us is any solution, insight or question about a local or citywide issue. A “project” is any specific action that helps achieve the goal or mission. For instance, projects to make the city greener might include a neighborhood tree planting project. A “resource” is a link to helpful information or tools from city agencies or community-based organizations for use by project creators and contributors. Participants can select resources to add to a project based on their potential benefit to help accomplish the goals of the project.
Code for America (CfA) connects the talent of the tech industry with local governments to make cities more open, responsive, and efficient. CfA recruits civic-minded, tech-savvy individuals to work with industry and governmental leaders to develop innovative applications that can be used in cities across the country.
CEOs for Cities is a national network of urban leaders from the civic, business, academic and philanthropic sectors dedicated to building and sustaining the next generation of great American cities. Through research, convenings and advocacy, CEOs for Cities curates the data, trends and relationships that are driving local innovation nationwide. Additional information is available at www.ceosforcities.org.
Local Projects is creating the media design for the 9/11 Memorial Museum, StoryCorps, Change By Us, and the Frank Gehry designed Eisenhower Presidential Memorial. Local Projects is a three-time National Design Award finalist and was named the second most innovative design firm by Fast Company for its redefinition of emotional storytelling. Principal Jake Barton is recognized as a leader in the field of interaction design for physical spaces, and in the creation of collaborative storytelling projects where participants generate content. Current clients include the BMW Guggenheim Lab, Cleveland Museum of Art, Seaworld, the 9/11 Memorial and the National Museum of African-American History and Culture.
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more information, see: http://www.knightfoundation.org
The Rockefeller Foundation envisions a world with Smart Globalization – a world in which globalization’s benefits are more widely shared and social, economic, health, and environmental challenges are more easily weathered. They support work that enables individuals, communities, and institutions to access new tools, practices, resources, services, and products. And they support work that enhances their resilience in the face of acute crises and chronic stresses, whether manmade, ecological, or both. For more information, see: http://www.rockefellerfoundation.org