CivicLex Ice Cream Social
CivicLex partnered with Fayette Alliance, KFTC, the Lyric Theater, Sorella’s Gelateria, Chocolate Holler, and Cup of Commonwealth to host an Ice-cream Social and At-Large Council Candidate Forum. We took inspiration from On the Table and created this event to facilitate small group conversations between the council candidates and attendees from throughout Lexington.
We assigned each candidate to one of five tables. We then assigned 2-3 sectors, out of the 12 within which CivicLex works, to facilitators with expertise in those fields who would float from candidate to candidate. Attendees could then stay with one candidate to hear their views on every sector, follow a facilitator to hear every candidate’s views on specific sectors, or a mix of sectors and candidates of their choosing.
We had five out of the six Council At-Large candidates and about 80 Lexington residents participate. A member from KFTC was present to register voters, a representative from Fayette Alliance passed out the organization’s candidate surveys and was our emcee for the night, and the ice cream and coffee shops provided refreshments.
Impact & Statistics:
People Directly Reached: 93
People Reached In-Person: 93
Government Workers Engaged: 6
Facilitated Communal Conversations: 60
Outcomes & Conclusions:
88% of attendees surveyed said that the event was a success, and enjoyed the format.
88% of attendees also felt more informed about their Council-at-Large candidates after the event.
55% of attendees felt “extremely more motivated” to participate in civic process after the event, compared with 45% of attendees who felt the same as before.
The format of the event - which felt more like “speed dating” than a traditional Town Hall - was an absolute success.
CivicLex was disappointed with the turnout of the event. We originally set a cap of 150, and only had 87 people show up - and close to 40 who had previously registered didn’t show. We attribute this significant drop-off to the abundance of other campaign events around that time.