19 May 2005

Rasiej Stuff

Two things from Advocates for Rasiej today that I wanted to share. I have been continually going back to this because his election is in a few months, and is by far the most similar in tactics and certainly in spirit to mine that I’ve ever seen.

He just posted the text of a speech on his website that he delivered to us at the opening of the PDF conference that I could have written (if, of course, I were a more talented writer).

(emphasis added by me)
We see how politics, instead of being a dirty word, could be what it meant in the original Greek: the engagement of all citizens in the decisions that affect their lives.


We techno-politicos should instead be focusing on how we can restore health to our civic life — and in particular, how we can get more people connected to each other and their government to raise issues, share ideas and solve problems.

After all, there are lots of good reasons that most Americans hate politics. It’s been taken away from them and turned into a cynical game that is more focused on winning elections than getting things done, where tearing the other side down matters more than lifting ideas up, where people are treated as commodities, and the only ones who get any attention are the people who can pay to play.


We need to aggressively advocate new ways to use technology to foster a more open, responsive, and accountable government.

I used to have “government that is open, efficient and empowering” on my front page. Now it’s openness, community, conversation – but you can see why I liked this speech. It goes on, and the whole thing is both well written and exciting in what it means to us. If this is the future of politics, as I am also working to make it, then we are looking at a better future for politics.

Also from the Rasiej front, I got an email from him today (mass mail), an update on his campaign. As you may remember, he is also running a $100 campaign. Here is what the email said :

Something’s happening here.

In just two weeks, our campaign to reconnect New York signed up 818 supporters and raised $72,000. With no contributions over $100. No fundraisers. Just a powerful message about reimagining our possibilities and recharging our democracy.

This is unprecedented in New York politics.

That’s because it shows that you don’t have to chase big checks to run a successful campaign. It also shows that there are a lot of people like you who are hungry for new leadership.


In the coming days I will be launching a new feature on my website—IDEAS4NYC. Each week we will post a question on a different issue, and ask you to give us your specific solutions. We’ll share the results on our blog. And we’ll take the best ideas and add them to the policy agenda we are developing.

Together we are going to prove that people matter more than money and ideas matter more than influence.

So there you go – both a good idea (somewhat in the spirit of my Collaborative Bill Writer, but more structured), and also another example of a $100 campaign working.

Not enough time for a podcast today, perhaps tomorrow. Have a good day everyone!


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