08 May 2005

Advocates For Rasiej

I just read this article at Wired on Andrew Rasiej who is running for Public Advocate of New York City this year. Among his campaign ideas :

  • $100 contribution limit
  • active blog, and eventually a podcast
  • election day SMS cell phone reminders
  • campaign sponsored municipal wifi

I encourage you to read his Ideas page, not only does it have some great ideas, but it has a submission form to get elicit more ideas from anyone reading.

Here are some highlights from the Wired article:
WN: Your campaign will rely heavily on the internet. What are some net-savvy approaches to politics you are taking?
Rasiej: For one, I’m blogging as much as I can find time for, and we’re going to podcast and video-blog as well. We’ve already built into the site the ability for people to give us their cell-phone number to schedule a text-message reminder on when to go vote, and we’re going to post every suggestion a person makes to the site, both on how to make the city better and how to improve the campaign. We’re going to demonstrate the viability of universal broadband by getting some volunteers together to “light up” some buildings in poor neighborhoods with Wi-Fi. We’re going to get volunteers to show how easy it will be to use cell phones for civic engagement, by informing people when the next train is due in at some subway hubs and by encouraging people to post pictures of potholes and other things that need fixing to Flickr or a similar photo-blogging platform.

I am absolutely going to recycle some of these ideas. Here is some more :

But most important, we’re encouraging people to use this campaign to think and act creatively and collectively in ways that the net makes more viable. The network will come up with the best ideas on how to approach politics, and I’m listening as hard as I can. I can’t become New York’s public advocate without all the other public advocates in this great city. We can only be elected together. If elected, the public advocate’s office will be their office.

Talk about an open source campaign. I truly hope that this is the future of politics – toward low-donor, connected, open, listening campaigns. Campaigns that are truly of and accountable to the people they strive to represent and serve.

So, I wrote him an email saying that I liked his campaign, and asking if he would be attending the Personal Democracy Forum since it is in NY. I was even helpful enough to give him the URL for the conference website so he could find out some more about it. How useful of me.

From the About section of the website :
Andrew Rasiej is the Founder of the Personal Democracy Forum and has served as an advisor to Senators and Congressman and political candidates on the use of Information Technology for campaign and policy purposes since 1999.

Ah. How especially helpful of me to have pointed the conference out to him. Still, he was very kind and replied personally very quickly. I look forward to saying ‘hi’ at the conference next week.

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