When Francisco Fontano heard about the process for the new constitution, he thought it was silly. “Nothing will happen,” he thought, but he went ahead and submitted a proposal anyway. Using the Change.org platform, Francisco submitted a petition calling for a minimum area of greenspace per person in the city, an issue he was passionate about. Not long afterward, representatives from Change.org contacted him to help him refine and promote the proposal. He thought his petition might receive a few thousand signatures, but came home one day to find 14,000 people had signed on to support it. Eventually, his petition exceeded 50,000 signatures.
The next step was to meet with then-General Counsel Manuel Granados Covarriubias to discuss the proposal. “I started studying to give a proper presentation about my topic,” he said. “I was so nervous.” Little did he know that Mr. Granados was also nervous, unsure about what to expect from the process.
The meeting went very well. Francisco came away feeling that he was taken seriously, and Mr. Granados couldn’t wait for the next meeting. “I thought we had a government that didn’t pay attention,” Francisco said. “They listened to me.” A version of Francisco’s proposal is now part of Mexico City’s Constitution.