The core WordPress mission is to democratize publishing through open source. But I believe we can also make our government and institutions more democratic by publishing with open source. That’s why I started contributing to a free WordPress theme for city government.
The original idea was developed by Luke Fretwell of GovFresh (a blog about government and technology). He was involved in a number of local government projects and saw how WordPress could solve many of the issues cities were facing with their websites.
Since Luke posted the theme to GitHub about a month ago, I’ve worked with him to completely rebuild it on a stronger code foundation (based on the _s theme by Automattic). There’s still several bugs and issues to work through, but it’s at the point where we could use some help and get more eyes on the code.
Some of the issues on GitHub are super small, like adding support for the PageNavi plugin. Others are pretty important, like testing in Internet Explorer. We’re also open to new suggestions. Once all the tickets are finished, the theme will be submitted to WordPress.org.
I’d love to see a few cities using this theme. Luke already has a few pilots lined up. Wouldn’t it be cool if your city’s theme was on GitHub? When you saw a bug or thought of a useful feature you could just send a pull request? I want to live in that world.
If this sounds interesting, please get involved with the project.
I think there’s an opportunity to incorporate the open source icon set that is included with YOOtheme’s UIkit, which is also on GitHub. That will simplify things like social icons and progress bars (good for public development projects).
The Font Awesome icon set is bundled- which has social icons. Though you’d be welcome to enqueue a different icon set and use that either through a plugin or child theme.