I worked as an intern in the House of Representatives and what astonished me the most was the outdated system we use for alerting representatives to the problems faced by the American people. Every day, each member of Congress receives hundreds of letters, some through e-mail, some handwritten, asking for a response to a very small number of issues. Most of these issues demand collaboration between many members of Congress. ...more »
New Tools and Technologies
The Privacy Act is a very important, technology-neutral law that helps ensure accountability and transparency when personal information is collected by government agencies. The goal is not to limit the use of technology; it is to help ensure that new technology is used in a way to protect democratic values. Social media, such as YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, offer exciting new opportunities for public participation ...more »
Very few Internet users really understand how persistent identifiers, such as “cookies,” record and track their online activities. But it is clear that when users take the time to examine this issue, they are not happy. This was clear when the White House initially proposed to make the President’s speeches available on YouTube without taking privacy into account. Changes were made, but the problem could have been avoided. ...more »
The creation of an online portal for citizen participation would be an institutionalized government portal that would allow citizens to research, discuss, and oversee formation of public policy as well as locate and log community service. The closest thing to this so far would be a hybrid of the creations of the Sunlight Foundation, primarily OpenCongress.org. It would provide a portal for citizens to review and comment ...more »
This internet technology that is currently being hosted by on ideascale.com is used to facilitate brainstorming from anyone with internet access and and idea so that good ideas can be collected and discussed. This brainstorming session ends May 28th. What happens after that? What if someone has a good idea, but missed this brainstorming session deadline. Why not make this technology a permanent part of government ...more »
Ensure that no bill, ammendment, etc. be approved or signed, except in emergencies until it is posted in final form for a sufficient time. The "Read the Bill" project http://www.readthebill.org , proposes 3 days, I would prefer 7 days.
Also contact your representative and have them make a commitment that they will vote against any bills that have posted for 3-7 days.
It sure would be nice to be able to keyword search this website.
One week is not enough for this important initiative.
It should be transformed into an ongoing tool for citizen participation in making decissions efffecting their lives.
When doing this, make sure that every participant really votes only once (e.g., by linking the exiting voters lists with this site.
Mass media misinformation campaigns have controlled the American public opinion for too long. It's no secret that the media is controlled by a handful of rich and powerful companies which only present the "facts" as they want them to be viewed. The faces and voices we see and hear are only those approved and influenced by lobbyist, government officials, corporations and other private interest groups that control and manage ...more »
We as Americans need to stop guzzling and wasting gas and oil, when there are other alternatives that are renewable. Public buses and such should be electric/solar powered or any other type of renewable energy to show the public that they work and are safe for all. That would then show everyone that we are ready for vehicles with the same technology. We have had such public transportation in the past, and we have always ...more »
In 1776 we fought to stop undue taxation burdens. Now in 2009 the founding fathers would not believe the nightmare inflicted on citizens every year come April. Worse, no one, not even the IRS and politicians, really know who is paying what tax anymore, with over 100,000 books of tax regulations. This is making the American economy uncompetitive compared internationally with billions being spent annually on bureaucracy ...more »
There is a lot of evidence that voting machines can be hacked. Just google it. There is a suspicion that elections have been stolen. Our country needs to have faith in elections, so now that we know that many of the machines we use are insecure, let us replace the machines with machines which our best expertise says cannot be hacked.
Open source software would be a start.