Sunday, October 14, 2007

Let America Speak!

Yesterday, John Edwards announced that he favors the creation of a "Citizen Congress" that would use technology to give the President the counsel of a million Americans. Pay attention. This is a BIG idea. Edwards is talking about a basic, fundamental change in the government works. He said:
“These Citizen Congresses will combine old-fashioned town halls with 21st century technology,” Edwards said in his speech. “They will give regular Americans a chance to speak to each other, and to their elected officials in Washington, without the filters of interest groups and the media.”
To my knowledge, this is the first time that an American leader in the national spotlight has called for an institutional reform like this.

Thanks to Mattice for sending me a note this morning pointing out that this strategy is straight out the the America Speaks Million Voices strategy. When I first read about his proposal, I thought that the technology sounded awfully familiar. In Macon, Community Partnership hoped to use this to facilitate a community discussion about needs and goals of our community and brought representatives of American Speaks to Macon to make a presentation to community leaders. In the end, we just couldn't afford it, but the technology and the process is an innovative way to engage and empower citizens.

Edwards really is talking about fundamentally reforming how government works and returning control to the people-where it belongs.

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