What's Up With CivCity?
Welcome to CivCity's inaugural email update! Our nonpartisan nonprofit is less than a year old, but we've already hit some major milestones. We received our 501(c)(3) status in June – so we're able to give you direct tax deductions for your contributions to CivCity.
CivCity is working to saturate the community with ways to get more informed and be more engaged in civic life, including projects we've started with about a dozen community partners. This newsletter will highlight some of our work – stay tuned for more as the months unfold. Or check out CivCity.org for more details, including our audaciously ambitious 5-year strategic plan.
Because Civics Is Fun...Really!
We were thrilled to be part of the Ann Arbor District Library's popular Summer Game, which ran from June through August. Players could earn up to 15 CivCity badges for completing civic-related tasks like attending public meetings, crowdsourcing early elections results at the Aug. 4 primary, or learning to edit Ann Arbor's LocalWiki. We awarded 1,068 badges and opened up a world of local civics to hundreds of residents. Our thanks to AADL staff for welcoming CivCity into the Summer Game extravaganza – we're already looking forward to 2016!
Some of the 15 CivCity badges in this year's AADL Summer Game.
Because Civics Is Awesome!
This summer CivCity received a grant from the Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation – our first-ever grant, I might add. These folks support "extraordinarily awesome" projects, and we're honored that CivCity fits that description. Mark Maynard, an A2 Awesome Foundation trustee, interviewed me about CivCity's efforts. Read more about it here: "CivCity and the quest to rescue American democracy, one community at a time." Thanks to A2 Awesome for their support!
That's me getting ready to receive a cash grant to CivCity from A2 Awesome trustees Omari Rush, Sandy Gregerman (far left) and Johanna Epstein.
Because Civics Is For The Dogs?
Thanks to the efforts of videographer Donald Harrison of 7 Cylinders Studio and his crew of merry mischief-makers, CivCity promoted the Aug. 4, 2015 Ann Arbor city council primary races with a series called "Eat This Election!" The short videos were modeled after The Tonight Show’s “Puppy Predictors” segment, with local dog owners volunteering their time and pooches. In total, the videos received over 1,760 views.
Fake merchandising for Eat This Election! didn't make the final cut.
Here's a quick look at a few other CivCity projects and partnerships, with more details to come:
In The Works
POP-X Picnic: Partnering with the Ann Arbor Art Center's 10-day festival at Liberty Plaza, CivCity is co-hosting a picnic on Oct. 18 from 3-5 p.m. – an informal gathering to break bread and discuss issues of community interest.
Civics Game Jam: We’re joining A2 Game Designers to host a Game Jam on the weekend of Oct. 23-25, focused on developing games with a local civics theme.
Wiki-Wednesdays: Dave Askins is holding editing sessions each Wednesday for Ann Arbor’s LocalWiki, with a focus on civic-related pages. This is an extension of the work we incentivized via the library’s Summer Game (see above). The goal is to strengthen LocalWiki for its eventual use as a platform for CivCity’s news & information efforts. For details, contact Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out our website at civcity.org (please note that it's very much a work in progress) or join CivCity on Facebook. On Twitter, you can follow us at @A2CivCity, where we post details about local public meetings and other items of civic interest.
Help Spread the Word!
Know of someone who might be interested in our work? Please forward this e-newsletter – we appreciate your help in letting people know about CivCity.