The Chicago Way

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A partnership between The OpenGov Foundation and the office of Chicago Clerk Susana Mendoza aims to fully digitize the city’s legislative process, streamlining the system and expanding opportunities for citizen involvement. The Chicago Way will provide the first-ever unified digital platform for crafting, sharing and amending legislation. The OpenGov Foundation will collaborate with city employees to develop a law-drafting tool that produces a standardized, machine-readable output, in contrast to the typical hodgepodge of PDF documents that continues to create headaches for governments and citizens alike. To enable citizen feedback on proposed legislation, The OpenGov Foundation will adapt Madison, “a government policy co-creation platform” that invites annotation and interaction. After laws are signed, the new integrated system will continue to provide user-friendly access and opportunities for feedback. The Chicago Way builds on and other open-source tools already being tested by local and state governments as part of The OpenGov Foundation’s Free Law Founders collaboration. The system is intended to be broadly applicable, with the potential to modernize lawmaking in the nearly 90,000 government entities across the United States.