Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has, once again, put out a call for the city's residents to submit and rank questions they would like to ask him during a Facebook "town hall"-style online chat session.
For the mayor's second #AskChicago Facebook town hall, scheduled for Monday, Jan. 23, at 6:30 p.m., Emanuel has chosen to center the conversation around education, one of the more heated issues his administration has been involved with since the mayor took office this summer.
"In our first live Facebook Town Hall and during the 2012 budgeting process, we saw Chicagoans come together in a conversation about issues facing residents across the city," Emanuel said in a statement. "This second Town Hall is part of my commitment to creating a more transparent and engaged government that not only listens to the voices of the people, but also responds."
As of Tuesday, the most popular questions include "Where's the research behind the ed [sic] policies you push?," "How do you propose to deal with the high performing neighborhood schools that are overcrowded, for example Abraham Lincoln Elementary?" and "Why aren't you listening to parents?," a question pertaining to Chicago Public Schools' turnaround plan.
In June, Emanuel hosted his first Facebook town hall, a live online chat where the public submitted and ranked a number of questions. NBC Chicago described that event as "informative ... and choppy," thanks to connection issues" and noted that the mayor "seemed candid at times, even chatty."
The Facebook town hall events are part of the Emanuel administration's expanded social media presence, including his use of Foursquare, an engaging Facebook page, an active Twitter account, and an embrace of technology, including the release of thousands of pages of data and the development of apps such as ChicagoShovels.org, which includes a real-time "plow tracker" and an "Adopt-a-Sidewalk" shoveling initiative.