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Harnessing the Ideas and Energy of Chicagoans

The era of top-down government in Chicago is officially over and the era of bottom-up co-creating is here. Chicago, once known for its ambition and heavy-handed machine politics, will begin a culture shift that embraces the energy and ideas of ordinary residents to solve big problems and make Chicago more prosperous, equitable, and resilient than it has ever been. The challenges Chicago faces today cannot be solved through the conventional approaches of government, business, and nonprofits. Everyone who lives and works in Chicago needs to be invested in the continuous improvement of the city. To that end, the Chicago Department of Community Collaboration (DOCC) has been formed to transition the role of city government from simply collecting taxes and providing services to a role that facilitates engagement and empowerment of all residents.

DOCC will actively seek to develop structures for identifying, testing, iterating, and developing new ideas and adapting ideas from other cities. DOCC will prioritize initiatives that are driven by residents, involve ongoing cooperation and community-building. To facilitate the participation of residents of all backgrounds in all initiatives, DOCC will develop a system of Civic Credits to recognize the value of participants’ time by providing transferable, non-cash benefits such as tuition discounts, transit passes, property tax credits, and public recognition, when a certain number of hours have been contributed. Learn more about Civic Credits.

In addition to developing the Civic Credit system, DOCC will feature bottom-up ideas from Chicagoans and innovative ideas from other cities. Residents are encouraged to share and discuss these ideas to identify ways to improve and implement or flaws that make them less feasible.

DOCC will be governed and directed by a volunteer council of residents and other stakeholders chosen by a steering committee.

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