2015 Bright Idea
Winners:
Town of Lexington, MA
2015
Publication:
Innovations in American Government Awards
Jurisdiction:
Massachusetts

Town leaders wanted to understand the issues raised by demographic changes, particularly the dramatic increase in the percentage of residents of Asian origin and their low participation in local government. A task force examined issues and identified barriers to participation in reports widely publicized throughout the community. As a result, a greater number of Asian-Americans have enrolled in the annual Citizens’ Academy, run for elected office, and been appointed to committees. These numbers are expected to increase as continued discussion results in a clearer understanding of the ways volunteers can participate in local government.