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This presentation gives an overview of the initiative and web platform for engaging citizens and their elected leaders in addressing issues that face our country.

This presentation gives an overview of the initiative and web platform for engaging citizens and their elected leaders in addressing issues that face our country.

Published in: Education, News & Politics
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  • 1. Where citizens & elected leaders meet to make change happen. Internet & Politics 2008: Moving People and Ideas Wednesday, December 11-12, 2008 The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University
  • 2. Background Obama's core idea is that citizens are at the center of politics. Not private individuals, not the government, not politicians, but people working together in public, on public matters. Campaigning in New Hampshire in 2006, he said, quot;There's a wonderful saying by Justice Louis Brandeis once, that the most important office in a democracy is the office of citizen. ... All of us have a stake in this government, all of us have responsibilities, all of us have to step up to the plate.quot; ~ Peter Levine, blog Nov 5, 2008
  • 3. What is • A digital quot;town hall forumquot; that activates the average citizen to engage with their own government leaders • Combines tools and resources for informing, engaging, and mobilizing • A site from the citizen’s perspective — their portal into civic engagement
  • 4. Why • New relationship between citizens and their elected leaders • Platform to make our leaders and government more transparent and accountable • Maximize the current excitement and belief in on-line tools as catalysts for off-line civic engagement • This could scale and become integrated into every level of education and citizenship
  • 5. What is Our Goal Our Approach Informing debate and decision- making by leveraging citizen quot;Wikipedia for policy optionsquot; expertise Citizen participation in policy quot; for every making process by engaging elected leader” elected leaders Effective change campaigns quot; for through community organizing  every change campaignquot;
  • 6. Jim Shue — South Orange, NJ
  • 7. Content on • Students in national Bonner campus network have begun populating elected leader profiles and policy news & options — integrated user submission option • Using wiki approach to leverage citizen expertise for PolicyOptions Issue Briefs — recruit issue area experts to serve editorial function to ensure quality and neutrality • Feeds from,, Congresspedia and other news and information sources • Elected leaders and change campaign organizers will use tools for sharing news and promoting engagement
  • 8. Launching • Mobilizing thousands of students in the 100+ Bonner campus network to nudge their elected leaders to join • High profile elected leaders inaugurate site — invited Mayor Cory Booker (Newark, NJ) and placeholder for Republican elected leader • Press outreach — Jimmy Wales and Andrew Shue on TV- newspapers, stories in Tech President & other popular blogs, websites, etc. • Hope to announce through before January 20, 2009 — outreach to 13 million supporters committed to changing relationship between citizens and their government
  • 9. Campus Network Will be a Catalyst see
  • 10. Who’s leading • Andrew Shue — leader in internet entrepeneurship (co-founder and Do Something) • John Palfrey — leader in internet and democracy (director, Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society) • Jimmy Wales — leader in democratizing knowledge (co-founder, Wikipedia) • Robert Hackett — leader in campus civic engagement (founder, & VP, Bonner Foundation) • Henry Poole — leader in open source technology (co-founder, CivicActions)
  • 11. Lead Contacts • Andrew Shue — • Robert Hackett — • Henry Poole —