Today, the City of Chicago and Chicago Ideas Week (CIW) launched a new city-wide social media and community engagement initiative, “#WhatIfChicago.” The program empowers and encourages Chicagoans to offer ideas and solutions for reducing the number of illegal guns on the streets of Chicago.
“Reducing the number of illegal guns on our city streets is a top priority for making our city a safer place,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “#WhatIfChicago provides a forum for residents to offer solutions that will help change our city for the better. These ideas will augment the city’s ongoing efforts to combat violence and ensure safe streets for everyone in Chicago.”
Starting today, citizens can join the conversation on Twitter by offering ideas and adding the hashtag #WhatIfChicago at the end of each Tweet. The best ideas on how to keep illegal guns off Chicago streets will be discussed and deliberated by a panel of gun control activists, law enforcement officials and policy experts during CIW. The panel will take place on Thursday, October 11 from 9:00-10:30am at gravitytank and includes:
- Frank Main, Reporter, The Chicago Sun-Times
- Michael Skolnik, Political Director to Hip-Hop Pioneer and Co-President, GlobalGrind.com
- Garry McCarthy, Superintendent, Chicago Police Department
- Annette Nance-Holt, Firefighter, Chicago Fire Department
- Nina Vinik, Senior Program Officer, The Joyce Foundation
- David Hemenway, Professor of Health Policy, Harvard School of Public Health
“CIW inspires people to ‘Think Out Loud’ and to spread ideas that lead to real and positive change,” said Jessica Malkin, Executive Director of Chicago Ideas Week. “#WhatIfChicago takes our mission one step further by encouraging the great minds of our city to come together to think, talk and act in order to reduce the number of illegal guns on our streets.”
According to the City of Chicago’s Social Media Director, Kevin Hauswirth, empowering people through social media is a top agenda item for the City, “This program allows us to interact with Chicagoans in a new and powerful way. Never before has a city harnessed its citizens to solve a city problem using social media. This is an outstanding example of the potential power that social media offers city government.”
CIW, held Oct. 8-14, brings together some of the world’s most outstanding speakers to present their ideas and inspire the innovations of tomorrow. CIW aims to be the platform for sharing big ideas and making big things happen. In addition, CIW is an asset that belongs uniquely to Chicago, and reflects our great city in its inclusiveness, diversity and excellence of intellectual discourse. It is a platform that continues to be shaped by the people, organisations and institutions that care about the future of Chicago as well as communities around the globe.
#WhatIfChicago was created by CIW partner Leo Burnett Chicago, the city’s largest and most awarded advertising agency Leo Burnett.
For more information about #WhatIfChicago, follow the discussion on Twitter at #WhatIfChicago.