Crowdsourcing a Constitution was a process in which citizens of Mexico City, Mexico provided input in writing an autonomous governing document. The measure was sponsored by the Mexican Federal Government and administered by Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera from 2016-2018.
Problems and Purpose
The purpose of Crowdsourcing a Constitution was to grant voice and democratic autonomy to the citizens of Mexico City, and generate legitimacy for the new constitution. Since the inception of the United Mexican States, Mexico City has remained stateless and without representation in the General Congress of the United Mexican States. This presented significant, long-standing tension and disconnection between citizens and their government. In later years, as Mexico City grew to become the largest metropolitan area in the Western Hemisphere, sentiment for autonomous and equitable governance came to a head.
Background History and Context
The United Mexican States was created in 1917 with the adoption of its constitution. In that document, Mexico City was designated as part of the federal government, officially known as the Distrito Federal.  This special designation prevented the city from electing any form of representative government such as city council or legislature. It wasn’t until 1997 that Mexico City was awarded the opportunity to elect a mayor.  They relied solely on the national Congress to implement social policy and make fiscal decisions.  This has long been a source of frustration for the citizens of the city, known as chilangos, for they had no participatory mechanism in the governmental decision-making process. While smaller movements for electoral democratic participation have existed in Mexico for quite some time, they gained particular traction in the 1980’s amid rapid changes in social attitudes towards corruption and governmental oversight.  
Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities
The modern movement came to a head in January 2016 when the National Congress approved a constitutional amendment to grant governmental autonomy to Distrito Federal.  With the amendment came a flood of new agenda items for the city. Mayor Mencera moved immediately to restructure his administration, appointing an attorney general and chief of police, as well as dividing the city into districts.  With a proper government in place, the city could now move to establish a governing document. he city, in collaboration with Laboratorio para la Ciudad, the city’s experimental governance agency, adapted as a digital means of two-way collaboration between the 28-person, politically-neutral Drafting Group and residents.
Participant Recruitment and Selection
Since the new constitution was designed to govern the new state of Mexico City, Mayor Mancera instructed his general counsel to develop a system in which all citizens of Mexico City could provide input.  Anyone was free to voice their opinions in online forums, data collection centers, and in community Citizen Assemblies, with the goal being to garner as much support for specific amendments, proposed by the citizens, as possible.
Methods and Tools Used
What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation
 The city, in collaboration with Laboratorio para la Ciudad, the city’s experimental governance agency, adapted a PubPub campaign  as a digital means of two-way collaboration between the 28-person, politically-neutral Drafting Group and residents.  Next, the administration wrote a 15-question survey imploring citizens to “Imagine your City,” which received over 31,000 responses.  The third strategy took the form of a series of petitions on the online petition forum Change.org. They were collected into one entitled: “Citizen voices in the new Constitution of the CDMX”  At the end of the Change.org campaign, residents had submitted 358 proposals that received over 400,000 total votes.   The final strategy of citizen outreach and engagement was coupled with Change.org’s event calendar function.  Residents were able to register and create their own outreach events. The city deployed representatives, armed with mobile signature-gathering devices, to the Citizen Assemblies in order to collect feedback from these citizen collectives.  The city also installed kiosks in highly trafficked public spaces, which reached people that, for whatever reason, weren’t able to participate in the Citizen Assemblies.
Influence, Outcomes, and Effects
As Mayor Mancera’s administration gathered input and information from the city’s residents, a pattern began to emerge. Citizens were voicing their desires for free and autonomous government with very specific, particularly progressive amendments being proposed to the Drafting Group. Examples of these amendments are: the recognition and enshrinement of equal rights for LGBTI people with language protecting sexual orientation, identity, and expression of gender of all people ; a proposal to extend maternity and paternity leave; the “right to good governance” ; a transparency principle known as 3de3 in which public officials must disclose personal assets, conflicts of interest, and taxes ; disability rights for the alternatively-abled : river and lake revitalization efforts ; digital and internet access rights ; and an amendment guaranteeing a minimum amount of green-space per resident . It also included rights for the homeless, immigrants, racially mixed-Mexicans, the elderly, and animals. 
Analysis and Lessons Learned
The final 220-page document, appropriately called Carta Magna , was passed on January 30, 2017. The document represents one of the finest examples of citizen engagement in Latin American history. Gabriella Gomez-Mont, founding Director of Laboratorio para la Ciudad, was quoted as saying, “This was going to be the most ambitious participatory process in Latin America in a long while. We were going to have a dialogue and debate of what a constitution looks like socially and politically.”  She was certainly proven correct.
 Crowdsourcing a Constitution. (2019). Cities of Service. Retrieved from: https://citiesofservice.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Mexico_City_Cities_of_Serivce_Case_Study.pdf
 Fox, J., & Hernández, L. (1992). Mexico's Difficult Democracy: Grassroots Movements, NGOs, and Local Government. Alternatives: Global, Local, Political, 17(2), 165-208. Retrieved from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40644738
 Crowdsourcing a Constitution: New avenues for expanding and deepening public input. (n.d.). Big Bold Cities. Retrieved from: https://www.bigboldcities.org/innovation/crowd-sourcing-constitution
 PubPub. (2016, September 15). Retrieved from: https://v3.pubpub.org/pub/constitucioncdmx-principios
 Change.org. (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://www.change.org/m/voces-ciudadanas-en-la-nueva-constitución-de-la-cdmx
 Crowdsourcing the Mexico City Constitution. (n.d.). Obersvatory of Public Sector Innovation (OPSI), Open Government Case Studies. Retrieved from: https://oecd-opsi.org/innovations/crowdsourcing-the-mexico-city-constitution/
 Constitution Politica de la Ciudad de Mexico. (2017, February 30). Retrieved from: http://gaceta.diputados.gob.mx/ACCM/GP/20170130-AA.pdf
The first version of this case entry was written by Brock Hyland, a Master of Public Service candidate at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, and then edited. The views expressed in the entry are those of the authors, editors, or cited sources, and are not necessarily those of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.