Over the past two days I’ve been working with Reps. Brad Miller and Linda Sanchez to hold online discussions about a specific piece of legislation (HR 3609). It has been a great experience to work to create a substantive dialogue between congressmen, legal experts, and the general online community and I think there is a real future for this type of conversation. The Internet enables ordinary citizens to actually hold forth with a member of Congress and to have their voice heard and preserved for others to hear. I’ve compiled a list of links to aggregate the conversation that happened over the last two days below the fold.
12/18/07: OpenLeft: Live Blog announcement
12/19/07: TPM Cafe: Live blog with Reps. Miller and Sanchez
12/19/07: TPM Cafe: Hale "bonddad" Stewart on the Credit Crunch
12/19/07: TPM Cafe: Adam Levitin on the Effect of Bankruptcy Reform on Mortgage Interest Rates
12/19/07: TPM Cafe: Adam Levitin on Race and Foreclosure
12/19/07: TPM Cafe: Adam Levitin on Securitization and Modification
12/19/07: OpenLeft: Bankruptcy Bill Text and Links
12/20/07: Daily Kos: Live blog with Reps. Miller and Sanchez
Members of Congress and advocacy groups have a real opportunity here to use the Internet to connect real people to information about their favored issues and bills. Instead of relying on press releases and traditional broadcast media outreach, members can use the Internet and blogs to get their message out there in a less diluted manner. The kind of watered down, sound-bite media a press release may create is incomparable to direct substantive communication with people. I’ll have more to say about this later on.