Open Government Obama Style

We The People WhiteHouse.gov Website

The White House has taken several steps to foster Gov 2.0 and open government, like Twitter town halls, and writing recommendations for an Open Government Directive.

Now the White House is working on an online tool aimed at helping people petition the government and get official feedback. The White House is working to launch the We The People website to foster open government and give citizens a voice in their government.

White House Wants You to Petition Them On Issues That Matter Most to You

Anyone over 13 years old can create a petition on whitehouse.gov, and then build support for their petition and gather signatures using social media like Facebook and Twitter.

According to the site, officials will monitor the We The People petitions and if a petition meets the signature threshold (5,000 in 30 days), White House staff will review it, send it to policy experts, and issue an official response. The site is a Gov 2.0 take on the right to petition our government as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution. Petitions are the original form of crowdsourcing and community engagement. But beyond that, We the People is creating user generated government, by building communities of interest and facilitating efforts based on the topics of community concern.

A Chance To Have Your Voice Heard

This kind of online engagement is nothing new for Obama. At his recent Twitter and YouTube town halls Obama was inundated with questions on legalizing marijuana. Yet, Obama never answered a single question involving the legalization of marijuana. While the topic was clearly on the minds of Americans it was ignored by the government. Through the We the People forum, citizens have a guaranteed opportunity to have their voices heard, whether it’s on legalizing marijuana or immigration reform.

Crowdsourcing San Francisco City Hall

These efforts toward user-generated government are exactly what we’ve been working toward at Reset – and why we’ve been advocating for YouTube testimony at City Hall and crowdsourcing ideas from the San Francisco community.

Citizens need to have a direct line of communication with their government on the issues that matter most to them. In a city as innovative and creative as San Francisco, don’t we deserve a government that is a leader in Gov 2.0?

San Franciscans are ready for a City Hall that actually listens and for a leader with the courage to make it happen. What do you think? What would you petition San Francisco City Hall?

 

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