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Creative Texas city's Lego video explaining 2022 budget goes viral

The city of Arlington, Texas found a creative way to promote civic engagement in the community!
/ Source: TODAY

We bet you’ve never seen a fiscal plan this fun before!

With a little help from some movie magic and a pre-built Lego city, officials from Arlington, Texas created an interactive stop-motion video as the backdrop for their 2022 fiscal plan.

The original video was posted on the city of Arlington’s official YouTube channel last month on Aug. 3. It has since gone viral for its creative take on some serious business, racking up nearly 700,000 views and counting.

The stop-motion video spans four and a half minutes, breaking down the proposed $552 million operating budget for the city in a fun and digestible way for the Arlington’s community and citizens so they can better understand how the money will be spent on various services and amenities.

The video came together thanks to the hobby of Jay Warren, the Director of Communication and Legislative Affairs for the city of Arlington. Warren spent years constructing the pint-sized city in his spare time, telling NBC affiliate NBC DFW in Arlington that building Legos has been a hobby of his since he was a kid.

In his day-to-day professional life, his role for the city of Arlington requires him to help local citizens engage with the happenings at city hall, which he admits can consist of pretty dry topics from time to time. Therefore, it’s his job to try to make them more engaging and interesting for the community.

“That’s our struggle. How do you make that relatable to a resident that might not otherwise care, but it impacts them?” Warren said.

When it came to the city’s annual budget video, Warren wanted to make sure that the city was able to portray to citizens how their money was being spent, but in an “understandable, engaging way.”

Jay Warren, the Director of Communication and Legislative Affairs for the city of Arlington, spent years building the Lego city before it was used to create the interactive budget proposal video.TODAY

A connection was made that building an annual budget and his Lego city had one thing in common: both needed to be built one piece at a time. This sparked an idea for Warren and his teammates who decided to combine his two worlds and use Legos as a creative way to communicate the budget proposal to the community to promote civic engagement.

With the assistance of videographers, they were able to put together the final product and gave the community a dose of nostalgia while explaining the budget proposal.

The video is being lauded for its creative way of explaining crucial information for citizens in a fun and easily understandable way.TODAY

Though the video’s reach has spanned far beyond just Arlington, viewers are loving the interactive and easily understandable presentation of a complex subject.

One viewer on YouTube said it was the best city budget video they’ve seen, adding, “Now this should be included in all school curriculum for high school to help them better understand what taxes go to!”

Another viewer commented on its effectiveness and educational value, writing, “Totally using this for my students!”