Hello Lexington! After a long hiatus, ProgressLex is rebooting. In 2017, we will restructure ourself into a 4-year campaign to make Lexington, KY the most civically informed and engaged city in the country. .
If we have learned anything from this presidential election, it is that there is an increasing divide in American civic life.
Fueled by geographic and economic separation and increasingly partisan media sources, the underlying current of national civic conversations is fracturing. Studies show that this is playing out on a local level as well: Americans spend 33% less time with their neighbors than they were in the 1970’s, and there is a staggering decline in trust among local communities.
Local newspapers are finding their financial models increasingly strained by new, national media sources.
In the 2016 election, only one city council member in Lexington ran opposed.
We are quickly losing civic infrastructure at the local level, and we need a new approach to respond to these rapid changes, and understand what is happening in our cities.
In its eight years, ProgressLex has worked on issues of civic engagement in Lexington. However, after the 2016 election, our Board of Directors has decided to make an bold decision to refocus the organization on making a large impact in a short period of time through the intentional sunsetting of the organization at the end of 2020.
This will allow the organization to not focus on long-term sustainability, but on immediate impact and bold leadership.
This campaign will begin with the creation of an online platform that will help residents of Lexington better understand what is happening in their city government at all levels through non-partisan reporting and the dissemination of clear and concise information about issues impacting Lexington-Fayette County. This platform, called CivicLex, will be built on a partnership with Under-Main, and other non-profits. It will be spun out on its own by 2020.
We are also pleased to announce CivicLex is the a finalist of the 2017 Knight Cities Challenge. In the interest of transparency, you can read our application here.
While are excited to get to work, we aren't quite ready for a full roll out. So, please check back here in the coming months for more details. In the meantime, if you are interested in getting involved, please contact us at the link above.