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Friday, August 31, 2012 - By Kevin Donohue - No comments
We are very excited to honor Raleigh, North Carolina's Bonner Gaylord with this month's Knope Award. Followers of the blog may remember Bonner from his acting debut here in this video:
Read on to learn more about this dedicated public servant and academy award contender:
Please tell us a bit about yourself and your role in Raleigh:
I married with 3 kids and 2 new kittens (for the kids to chase). I grew up in Raleigh and have lived here most of my life. I love this city and have been blessed by this city and so I feel it important that I give back in whatever ways I can. I currently serve on the City Council, Comprehensive Planning Committee, chair the Technology and Communications Committee, and am Council Liason to seven boards and commissions. For my day job, I am General Manager of North Hills (NHRaleigh.com), a Mixed-Use Development District in Raleigh. I also co-founded CityCampRal.org, serve my church, and enjoy surfing, biking, basketball, reading, and other stuff. If you're interested in learning any more (doubtful), feel free to go to BonnerGaylord.com.
You were instrumental in arranging a really innovative partnership between SeeClickFix, Raleigh, and the Knight Foundation. Could you tell us about that? Why did you think it was so important for Raleigh to have SeeClickFix?
SeeClickFix as a platform for open government and citizen participation was a no-brainer to me. At first, I encountered reluctance from staff and council to explore a new way to serve citizens of Raleigh and provide openness in government, so I just launched SeeClickFix in my district to prove it would work. I then found a way to fund the program city-wide without costing taxpayers a dime by partnering with WRAL. With all questions answered and at no cost to the city, council voted unanimously to bring SeeClickFix to Raleigh.
We loved the video you made about SeeClickFix. Are you considering a career move to Hollywood?
I am... I have gotten sick and tired of Raleigh's lack of materialism. I want to raise my family in a "Real Housewives" home, and I think my SeeClickFix movie script is going to get us there.
What attracted you about Public Service?
I was attracted to Public Service when I finally started seeing it as just that: serving the public. Before, I had seen it as "politics," which I abhor. When I started to see through all of the crap to understand what Public Service could be, I was in.
What is your favorite thing about Leslie Knope and the show Parks and Rec?
Leslie Knope is awesome, however I am not nearly as detail-oriented as she is, so I always need someone like her around. So, I like that about her. Mostly though, I like that despite her kindness, she still finds Jerry inexplicably insufferable.
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