I’m happy to post the following news. I have been an on-again-off-again E-Democracy volunteer since it’s very early days. I think they do great work and I think Steve has done a great job keeping E-Democracy on track and vital as the Internet has changed over the years.
From the Announcement…
Steven Clift is being honored as a Champion of Change for his efforts in making government more transparent and accountable through technology.
Imagine. I am standing on my front porch in Minneapolis, trying to speak out to my neighbors:
“Yes, I love the idea of starting a community garden. Let’s meet.”
“Councilmember, what more can we do to get the FAA to respond to our complaints about dramatic airport noise increases in our neighborhood?”
“My neighbor, an Iraq vet, heard five shots and ran to the victim in the street as he lay dying. I never want to see a sobbing, collapsing mother need to come to a crime scene again.”
“Let’s have a “Community Eat-up” and support that new Salvadoran restaurant in our neighborhood. Who will join us?”
“Great. So glad you found seven neighbors to quickly bake those lasagnas for your friend’s memorial service today.”
“I found a lost puppy …”
If it was before 2008, these real examples would have remained unheard across my neighborhood.
Imagine being connected to over 1,000 of your neighbors via an online public space for community exchange (that’s 25% of households in my neighborhood). You are able to connect with local elected officials who represent you, small business owners and workers, and local civil servants and community groups. Everyone who cares about your local community is welcome.
This is my own Standish-Ericsson neighborhood today – connected, vibrant, inclusive, and building community every day.
Today, E-Democracy’s BeNeighbors.org effort connects well over 15,000 people mostly in the Twin Cities across a network of dozens of online Neighbors Forums. Our lessons and assistance are available for networks everywhere.
More info from the White House press release…
Steven Clift, Founder of E-Democracy
Steven Clift is @democracy on Twitter. He launched E-Democracy.org in 1994 and it is the world’s first election information website. His “government by day, citizen by night” insights were built as leader of the State of Minnesota’s first e-government initiative. He spoke across 30 countries for over a decade from Estonia to Libya to Mongolia on open government and civic participation to support non-partisan, volunteer-powered efforts for inclusive online local democracy. An Ashoka Fellow, today he is E-Democracy’s Executive Director. He leads a dedicated team with the BeNeighbors.org effort to connect all neighbors online (and off) in public life across race and ethnicity, generations, immigrant and native-born, and more. He lives with his lovely wife and two children in Minneapolis, Minnesota.