The American people have a lot to say on the current political climate – whether it’s via the weekly approval polls or by messaging directly with Members of Congress via Twitter and Facebook. But, how many of those messages actually reach their intended target?
Last week the Obama administration introduced a petition platform called We the People on Whitehouse.gov that’s intended to reach the ears of decision makers in the White House. You can view their launch video on YouTube.
We the People works in three steps:
- Creating an account.
- Building support and gathering signatures.
- Reaching the initial threshold of 5,000 signatures, prompting a review by the White House and an official response.
Like other e-government petition tools, We the People places the responsibility of finding petition supporters on the petition’s creator. Instead of going door to door the petition creator will go from network to network potentially expanding their reach from just a local neighborhood to a national one.
We the People could potentially be a great resource for advocates to reach the White House, and for the White House to gauge support for its initiatives and match petition signers to their Members of Congress. This is something we’ll be eagerly watching in the coming months.