Idea to Action: Launching the Public=Online Campaign

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Well, friends, it’s time to start turning our talk into something with impact.

At 2 p.m. today, we are launching the Public=Online campaign to put public pressure on government to be more open and transparent. This is our new website where all the information about the campaign will be:

http://PublicEqualsOnline.com

It’s a completely non-partisan campaign with the first goal of making government transparency a major issue in the upcoming mid-term elections.

Ultimately, Public=Online is focused on getting government to pass the transparency laws we need – laws that put government information online in real-time where we can use it – and we’re going to do that by building a demand for transparency that is so large it cannot be ignored by politicians.

We are going to ensure public officials answer to us for making government open and transparent by telling them just how important it is to us as we consider who to vote for in November.

This will only work, though, if hundreds of thousands of people make this bold statement across the country – in every city, state and congressional district.

What we need first and foremost is for as many people as possible to make this statement with us by signing the Public=Online pledge, and asking others to join as well.

It is through the pledge – and the number of people that sign it – that this campaign will build political clout strong enough to move government. When it comes to making government transparent, we need that clout to be as big as possible.

In the months ahead, we will send letters to the editor and make calls to congress; we’ll organize days of action around such legislation as the Public Online Information Act, and we’ll ensure that our representatives Read the Bill.

We’ll ask candidates for office questions about their positions on transparency at town halls, we’ll scour earmark requests, write blog posts diving into campaign data or post video of important events.

There are a thousand things we can do together – many of which we don’t even know yet – but first, we must come together with a powerful voice, and that’s what this pledge does.

For the first few weeks, that is our focus. And if we have anything to say about it, it will also be a lot of fun.

This is just the beginning.

If you’re on Twitter or Facebook, this is the message we’re asking people to put in their status:

Help me get government information online in real-time. We CAN make government more transparent. http://publicequalsonline.com #opengov

If you can be more creative than that… we’re excited to see what you come up with!

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  • Transparency is a foundation for good government; no doubt. Do you guys have any thoughts on how to make all of the information that comes out of a transparent government accessible, understandable, and actionable for the average citizen?

  • I think that most people just assume that all government information is already online. What are some examples of information that’s not online? How does this impact the public?