There's a new famous mayor on the scene and he's getting serious about his social media presence.
Rahm Emanuel announced today that his first Facebook Town Hall, #AskChicago, will be held next week on Thursday, June 30 at 1:30pm.
Kevin Hauswirth, Chicago's first-ever Social Media Director, tells me this marks the first time a sitting mayor of a major city will hold a live online and Facebook chat in which questions will be submitted and ranked by the public.
"Mayor Emanuel is truly serious about building a more open, transparent government. We're taking that commitment to the social media space," Hauswirth says. "Everyday Chicagoans are talking about how to make this city even greater and Mayor's Office wants to be part of those conversations on and off line."
For tech and politics lovers around the country, Team Rahm Digital is going to be one to watch. I toured their offices this week and caught a glimpse of the hustle and bustle as they start building out a strategy that can maximize the tremendous opportunity to engage this amazing city. Not to knock the inspiring people of Newark, and I loved Mayor Bloomberg's epic @BronxZoosCobra tweet as much as anyone. I just know this is going to take city government to a whole new level.
Attention Sunlight Foundation peeps and transparency enthusiasts: Hauswirth also announced that the city's Chief Technology Officer, John Tolva (@ChicagoCTO), has compiled and posted unprecedented amounts of open data on the city's website (data.cityofchicago.org) and today launched an Apps for Metro Chicago contest in collaboration with Cook County and the State of Illinois.
"We're putting open government resources in the hands of the public... literally," said Hauswirth. "This data will be the foundation of smart phone apps to help everyone better navigate and enjoy Illinois."
If you want to follow along with these innovations, check out the first live #AskChicago chat by hitting up the mayor's Facebook page next Thursday, or go to www.livestream.com/ChicagoMayorsOffice.