Advice Needed: Help Me Help My Community

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Simple concept I am going to launch. Direct applications to make money doing the same thing, or even the original idea with getting sponsors.

1. Local politics can be very silly and opaque in smaller towns. Instead of discussing issues or debating them, there is often a lot of emphasis on signs/banners, etc. in elections, similar to high school. Voter participation is often anemic b/c people aren't aware of the main issues and there is little debate. Decisions are made with very little public input in most cases.

2. I aim to start a local politics site that will do the following for my County:
-Make it easy for citizens to learn more about issues affecting their county, city, and occasionally state.
-Encourage gathering and publishing of city council meetings on the site.
-Gather together, via volunteers or outsourcers any news items relating to the county/cities.
-Make a page for each city so that citizens can find relevant info to them fast (there are 24 cities total)
-Interview candidates for city/county/state office and present the findings.
-Allow opportunities for civil debate via comments, articles, etc.

Basically, to be the hub for all things political in my county, so that citizens can get information easily, and encourage more local participation in local matters.

3. To make this happen, I am looking for a way to do the following. I am thinking of a wordpress site, but open to others if there is something better.
-Allow for admin logins for me, and for outsourcers to be able to gather any relevant news stories/links/data and "pre-write" stories.
-Allow city administrators to publish their city newsletters/updates in the city section/page of the blog.
-Allow a volunteer or several volunteers for each city to publish stories and edit stories, but not others.
-Have the front page be updated with the latest stories, editor message, etc.
-Have the ability for any citizen to submit a story/news piece for approval later, probably through gravity from plugin.

Thoughts? Ideas? Feedback? Is there anything out there like this that relates well? What plugins/themes, or different frameworks would you recommend to make this happen?

I'm a little fuzzy on some of the layout and user roles, how to make it happen.
#advice #community #needed #templates #wordpress

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