A Website That Lets You Comment On Detroit’s Proposed Consent Agreement, Paragraph-By-Paragraph

Downtown Detroit. Credit: David Tansey.

Over the past week, “consent agreement” became the two most important words in the city of Detroit.

Michigan governor Rick Snyder offered a proposed “consent agreement” as a way to avoid appointing an emergency manager for the city.  We did our best to explain the proposal last week, and our partners at Michigan Radio have had extensive coverage.

But the governor’s consent agreement is a long and sometimes confusing legal document. The folks at Code for America seem to have found a unique way of breaking it down. They’ve published the entire proposed agreement to detroitagreement.digress.it, and opened it up so people can comment on each individual paragraph.

So far, commenting has been light, but plenty of people have questions about how certain sections of the agreement will be interpreted.

We talked to Matt Hampel, who created the website as part of his fellowship for Code for America. He and two other fellows are working with the city of Detroit on web-based apps to help the city. Hampel says the consent agreement site is kind of a side project, but the Code for America Team will have new web projects coming out over the next few months.

“We’re looking at issues of transit information, and we’re looking at building some tools around community mapping … We wanted to build online tools that make it easy to collect information about your neighborhood.”

Hampel says he also plans to follow up on the consent agreement site, as new proposals are released. You can find updates at codeforamerica.org/detroit.

2 Replies to “A Website That Lets You Comment On Detroit’s Proposed Consent Agreement, Paragraph-By-Paragraph”

  1. Thanks for continuing to cover the consent agreement. We’re looking for new ways to let people talk about the info — now that there’s a counter-proposal, it would be interesting highlight what’s changed / different. 

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