StimulusWatch.org is set to launch today as a way to help the Obama administration keep its pledge and to hold public officials accountable on how they spend taxpayer dollars with the stimulus bill. The site encourages citizens around the country with local knowledge about the proposed “shovel-ready” projects in their city to find, discuss and rate those projects.
You can search projects, browse by locality or program type. Once you’ve found a project, they ask you to do three things: 1) vote on whether you believe the project is critical or not; 2) edit the project’s description and points in favor or against, and 3) post a comment in the conversation about the project.
The force behind StimulusWatch is Jerry Brito, a senior research fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center. He developed the site with the help of volunteers. Jerry is also a principal at The Technology Liberation Front.
This is very well done. I strongly suggest you check it out.
Update: One of my far more knowledgeable colleagues played around on Stimulus Watch and found it, they thought, somewhat misleading and prone to gaming. For example, it only provides one word descriptions for the funding items — one is simply labeled “doorbells.” Without any context, the commentators are jumping all over such items, voting them down. One of my other colleagues says that the site has lots of holes in the information, e.g. no information from county governments, and nothing from, for example, Richmond, Virginia whose Mayor didn’t submit a list.