As Mayor Lori Lightfoot approaches her 100th day in office, Tuesday, she already has scored a number of historic firsts: first African American woman to be mayor of Chicago, the city’s first openly gay mayor, the first in memory to challenge the unrivaled power of aldermen in their wards. 

And now there is one more: the first mayor to develop a city budget after polling her public via SurveyMonkey.

That’s right. The online tool people use to decide an office lunch order, or whether an internet meme is funny or not, is being deployed by a city that needs to close an estimated $1 billion budget gap.

And you know what? Lightfoot may be on to something here.

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David Greising

David Greising is the president and chief executive of the Better Government Association, joining the BGA in 2018. For nearly a century, the BGA has fought for honest and effective government through investigative...