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Think you have better ideas for Cincinnati than our politicians? Here's your chance to prove it

Posted at 7:22 PM, Aug 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-02 19:50:25-04

CINCINNATI -- If we've learned anything from years of moderating WCPO's Facebook and Twitter pages, it's this: Cincinnatians are full of ideas.

No update about the streetcar, Downtown construction or new school safety policies can make it online without attracting the input of hundreds who believe they've thought of a better solution to a particular problem than city legislators ever could.

And you know what? Maybe they have. Councilmember P.G. Sittenfeld and startup founder Dani Isaacsohn are excited to find out.

Anyone with an idea that could improve life in Cincinnati is invited to submit their ideas to the city's first-ever "policy pitch," which Sittenfeld described as a kind of "Shark Tank" for policy -- with nicer judges than the real thing.

You can submit a first-round pitch for a concrete, actionable city policy online, at which point it will be evaluated by a team selected by Isaacsohn's startup, Bridgeable. A group of finalists selected from that round will have the chance to present their ideas to an audience Aug. 13, and that audience will vote for a winner.

Whatever the winning idea is, Sittenfeld said he'll work to implement it at City Hall.

The idea behind the pitch night, Isaacsohn said, is to utilize the "everyday expertise" that Cincinnatians develop in the course of their daily lives.

"If you live an issue every day, you become an expert in it," Isaacsohn said. "If you ride the bus every day, you're an expert in transportation. If you have a three-year-old, you're an expert on pre-K. Decision-makers need a way to listen to this everyday experts so they can make better decisions."

The policy pitch is meant to provide one. If you're interested in having a voice at City Hall, you can submit your idea online.

Be warned, though: You've got some stiff competition already. Seven-year-old Thomas Sheridan has already proposed everyone in the city of Cincinnati get free ice cream whenever one of our official teams wins.

"I have to check the budgetary ramifications of the universal ice cream plan," Sittenfeld said.