When a number of factories in the tiny city of De Leon, Texas left many workers unemployed, a neighboring city – Manor – decided to step in to help. Manor, Texas boasts just over six-thousand people in addition to its famous water tower, but in recent years, the main attraction of this city has been its city-wide adaptation in government technology and innovation. QR codes invite locals and passer-bys alike to whip out their smart phones and begin acting like its the 21st century. Manor -not New York, Chicago, or another metropolis – leading the country as the most adapted online government community. After taking the two-thousand residents of De Leon under its wings, its time for more cities to start paying attention.
How does a city with a population under seven-thousand stay ahead of the game? For one, they take chances. Before the Obama Administration was encouraging cities to embrace the web, Manor was taking a chance on a new start-up from New Haven, Connecticut called SeeClickFix. While Manor was one of the web service’s first customers, today, SeeClickFix serves thousands of communities across the country.
In addition to SeeClickFix, Manor has deals with other tech companies trying to change the way citizens interact with their respective government. This past week, the city hosted the conference known as manor.govfresh, in which members of communities were able to discuss various topics concerning Gov 2.0 and its impact on the future.
It will take a while before the influence of Manor will spread passed De Leon (excluding those larger cities who have already embraced this open Government). De Leon’s embrace of the tech world was only due to its inability to keep pace with a more modern world of fewer jobs and more iPods. Hopefully, for them and any other community willing to change, it will be for the better.
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