We just returned from a terrific press conference on the Hill where we released the results of the Open House Project. Rep. John Boehner (R. OH) and Rep. Brad Miller (D. NC) joined some of the collaborators of this project as we talked about our recommendations for bringing the House into this century and the collaborative, online way the project was conducted. We very much appreciated Boehner's and Miller's support as we did that of House Speaker Pelosi who sent a letter welcoming the report. C-SPAN covered the press conference and as soon as we know when it will be aired, we'll update this post.
We started with the observation that Americans today are communicating with each other in a Web 2.0 dynamic environment, but Congress is restricted in its online activities by outdated rules implemented when the Web was in its infancy. We reminded those who attended the press conference that we launched this project as a way to convene a diverse, bipartisan group of experts and citizens to talk about how to bring the House into the 21st century. All of those who participated in this project — and no doubt a lot of others — want Congress to be the transparency open-source kind of legislature that is appropriate to the time we live in.
You can find the full report here for downloading and if you go to the home page for the report you'll be able to comment openly on the recommendations. Remember that our goal has not been to radically rework every congressional procedure. The operating principle of the Open House Project was known as "Paving the Cowpaths." That is, we were trying to find the least intrusive ways to open up the House – identifying the ‘low-hanging fruit' where the Internet and congressional procedures come together. We'd love to hear from you.
Update: Join participants in the Open House Project at a panel discussion at Heritage. This is a great opportunity to hear from people who helped write the report. Click here to register.