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Mayor candidate Jeff Kirkpatrick has offered an innovation and technology platform that includes digital chat sessions with the public and more technology at libraries.  

A focus on innovation can allow the city to partner with the private sector and the University of Nebraska to further Lincoln’s national reputation as a technology center, Kirkpatrick said in announcing his four proposals, which are: 

Digital chats with the mayor: Kirkpatrick said he would host a monthly digital “Chat with the Mayor” across multiple platforms such as Twitter, Facebook livestream, Instagram and YouTube livestream so residents aren’t forced to go to a town hall meeting to have their voices heard or their problems addressed.

Kirkpatrick said he would answer questions about policy, assign staff to problems identified in the chats, and encourage the kind of discussion that stimulates new ideas.

Libraries as technology hubs: Kirkpatrick says the role of libraries in society is changing and “more Lincoln libraries should offer access to production labs, new software, 3D printers and laser cutters. Residents could receive instruction in everything from tech classes, to incubator projects for entrepreneurs, to business pitch competitions,” Kirkpatrick said.

Digital transparency: The city’s open-data program should continue to grow and new data sets should be developed and put online, Kirkpatrick said.

"In cities across the country, residents are offering solutions to community challenges when they have access to city data.

“We need a stronger investment in the city’s website to provide more online services and information on city policies, so the public can effectively and efficiently access city services and review the city’s performance.” he said. 

City staff focused on innovation: “Cities across the country are hiring innovation officers who work to improve city services by finding new, more efficient ways of doing business," Kirkpatrick said.

Kirkpatrick said he would re-organize the city’s Information Services Division to focus staff on using technology and innovation to improve city performance.

He would reach out to local technology and innovation companies so city staff can learn and implement cutting-edge practices that allow city hall to do more with less.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7250 or nhicks@journalstar.com

On Twitter @LJSNancyHicks.

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Reporter

Nancy Hicks reports on Lincoln city government, but she’s been following the leaders of local and state government for more than 40 years.

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