Consensus Update #7 — Consensus Platform is Live in the City of South Burlington, Vermont
The City of South Burlington, Vermont, is alive with a buzz of excitement after yesterday’s official Consensus App launch. The easy-to-use app will solve crucial issues for the South Burlington government when receiving feedback from citizens for future infrastructure and policies.
The Consensus app, available for both Android and iOS devices offers real-time polling of matters that are of interest to the public in South Burlington. As South Burlington City Council Chair Helen Riehle said,
“It may very well capture a voice that we don’t always hear, and those are sort of the busy millennials or families who don’t have time to come to a city council”.
How Consensus Found Itself as a Pilot Project in the City of South Burlington
Over the last two years, the South Burlington legislative bodies and executive offices have played a key role in ensuring blockchain pilot projects like Consensus go ahead. David Thelander of Gravel & Shea steering the project along with lawmakers, advisers and educators, a blockchain bill was passed to help facilitate better e-governance and smart city solutions.
Fortunately, as a benefit of the blockchain bill, Consensus was a perfect fit for existing laws formed by the Attorney General’s office. T.J. Donovan, South Burlington’s Attorney General, was at the Consensus app launch event and he went on to say,
“Any time we can have local government innovate, become more accessible, become more efficient, become more effective and do it on a platform that protects people’s privacy — that is secure. That is excellent local government services being deployed to tax paying residences.
At the end of the day by making government work for people, you’re going to give that opportunity to people to be more creative. Be more innovative themselves to create the next best thing, to invest back into this community. So our kids have the best quality of life, they have the best parks, they have the best schools, they have the best housing. This (Consensus App) is the competitive edge that South Burlington can bring by this unique private-public partnership with a great company like Consensus”.
Dustin Plett, CSO Consensus: Thoughts on The Pilot Project
“We are now two years into this project, and we are unbelievably excited to finally launch our first application built on top of almost a year of R&D into our own blockchain network and obviously the citizen-government facing application. I believe that this is the first city to launch a citizen engagement blockchain engagement app in the U.S.
The South Burlington Pilot Project has three primary objectives; the first part is understanding how we can build tools that are most valuable to the government (dashboards and tools to allow them to use the feedback to make decisions as quickly as possible).
Another big part of this is how can we build user experiences, how can we make tools citizens can use — for instance, can a citizen reach in their pocket, give feedback at a moments notice that means something, which becomes part of solving a problem. This, in turn, provides City Council information they need to move much faster than they traditionally have been able to.
The final part of the South Burlington Pilot Project surrounds privacy and security. Consensus has a multi-level verification process. This includes both secure and anonymous usability. You can bypass the ID scanning, or you can use the ID scanning so it can verify that you are actually a resident of South Burlington. This is important for a couple of reasons, but the primary reason why this is important is it ensures that there is no outside influence in the decision making in South Burlington. Around the world, this has become an issue, and we are looking to build solutions that solve and tackle these very important problems.”
Press Coverage From the Launch Event
My Champlain Valley: “New mobile app links South Burlington residents to City Hall” by Mike Hoey
VTDigger: “New South Burlington city app is first of its kind in U.S.” by Ellie French
WCAX3: “New app to help South Burlington survey residents” by Cat Viglienzoni
Live Facebook Video of the Consensus App Official Launch
To learn more about Consensus, ensure you follow our official announcement channels on Telegram and Blockfolio Signals. On another note the Consensus team are conducting a Q&A live stream in the second half of June. So, if you have a question relating to the pilot project, then send it to us, and we may answer your question during the live Q&A session.