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Citizen Priorities in Alexandria Elections

The election process is designed to ensure that elected representatives do, in fact, represent the interests of their constituents, and public debates between candidates are an important component of this process. In Alexandria, Virginia, the Alexandria Democratic Party is using technology to further ensure that City Council elections focus on the issues most important to Alexandria citizens. TechPresident explains more about this initiative:

The Alexandria Democratic Party in Alexandria, Virginia has partnered with online civic engagement platform ACTion Alexandria to include questions solicited in an online forum in the final Democratic primary debate for a City Council election there on June 4, ahead of the June 12 election, according to a statement released by the group. ACTion Alexandria hopes to work with both parties during the general election.

Participants in the project can add questions to the forum, or vote on questions that have already been posed, although each user is only given three votes to distribute. Users are also encouraged to use their real names. Questions submitted so far hit on topics ranging from broadband access to a ban on food trucks in the city.

ACTion Alexandria is an initiative of nonpartisan organization ACT for Alexandria. While locally focused for now, ACT for Alexandria envisions eventually building a "scalable model that other communities can easily and affordably adopt." ACTion Alexandria serves as broader platform for community action beyond crowdsourcing questions for election debates. Community groups and government agencies can leverage ACTion Alexandria to drive volunteerism, donations, and civic problem solving. Other online platforms focused on offline actions include Neighborland and Change By Us.

Read the rest of the TechPresident article here.

Featured image courtesy of Flickr user Arlington CPHD.
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