Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Join Social Actions contest to create an activist tool on the web

Government reform orgs. deliver news on major events within their areas of expertise.
Social Actions

Social Actions' Change the Web Challenge will create tools for citizens to be activists wherever they are online

Berkeley, CA (PRWEB) December 15, 2008 -- Web developers who enter the Social Actions' Change the Web Challenge will help make the world a better place, and have a chance to share $10,000 in prize money.

Social Actions, a web-based nonprofit initiative, is launching the Challenge in January 2009 to facilitate the creation of innovative tools to help people find and share opportunities to take action on the websites, blogs, and social networks that they already visit everyday.

Competitors will build web applications that draw on Social Actions' open database of over 20,000 concrete actions people can take across a range of issues - from climate change, to education, to ending the genocide in Darfur.

"By connecting people to high impact actions they wouldn't have otherwise known about, we hope to create explosions of real-world change all over the globe," says Peter Deitz, Social Actions' Founder.

Social Actions currently aggregates opportunities to make a difference from over 30 online platforms, including VolunteerMatch,,, GlobalGiving,, Nabuur, Care2, ThePoint, and The contest's creators hope that the tools created by the Change the Web Challenge will make it easier for web users to find and participate in fundraising campaigns, microloans, petitions, volunteer opportunities and other social change projects created by nonprofits and individuals.

"Imagine if you're reading a story about homelessness on and an opportunity to volunteer at your local shelter popped up - that's an example of what we want to inspire with Change the Web. Making actions one click away could be huge for getting people to actually take action," notes Joe Solomon, Director of the Change the Web Challenge.

The Change the Web Challenge seeks to engage web developers, bloggers, and online do-gooders of all stripes to transform the web for change. One Social Actions community member, TechSoup Global's Co-CEO, Marnie Webb, has already modified a Firefox extension to enable anyone to search Social Actions' database of opportunities just by highlighting a phrase on any web page. After all the submissions have been received, community members and a panel of expert judges will decide who the winners are.

As philanthropy blogger, Lucy Bernholz, writes on her popular blog, Philanthropy 2173, initiatives like Change the Web are essential in these cash-strapped times, "Putting action wherever the people are. Letting you be a 'click away' from volunteering, giving, petitioning, or any other kind of social action whenever you are online, on your mobile phone, or just about anywhere. Making the web into the philanthropic web ... All this 'easy' may just help people give."

The Change the Web Challenge builds on the success of online competitions for social innovation such as The American Express Card Members Competition, The Case Foundation's Giving Challenges, Ashoka's Open Sourcing Solutions, The Knight News Challenge, Advanta's Ideablob Competition and the NetSquared Mashup Challenge.

"Far more than a brain-tickling challenge to the scores of technical wizards and digital activists roaming the Web ... It also holds the potential of unleashing (and sustaining) a massive wave of humanitarian action; ultimately shaping how the Web is used by its audience and maximizing the impact of social change campaigns," blogger Romina Oliverio recently posted on

Social Actions will launch the Change the Web Challenge in late January 2009. More information and current opportunities to get involved can be found at

About Social Actions:

Social Actions ( is a nonprofit initiative committed to making it easier for people to find and share opportunities to make a difference.

A search engine on helps users find ways to take action for the causes they care about from over 30 action sources drawn from sites like,,, DemocracyinAction, GlobalGiving, Idealist, SixDegrees, VolunteerMatch and Care2. Users can also share ways for others to take action on their website, blog, or mobile device with a variety of web applications built from the Social Actions' API.

In 2008, Social Actions was a 2008 Stockholm Challenge finalist, and a recipient of the NetSquared Mashup Challenge and DonateNow Mashup Challenge award. Social Actions has been covered by PBS Online,, The Wall Street Journal, and The Daily Telegraph, as well as leading tech blogs like TechCrunch, ReadWriteWeb, and Mashable.

# # #

Change the Web 2009

Join us:

Wanna Get Involved? Please contact:

Joe Solomon
Director, Change the Web 2009 (a Social Actions Challenge)
Tel: (415) 683 6185

>All Things Reform Mobile: >Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 (not toll-free) >US House/Senate Mobile: >Contact your reps tips: >Shortened All Things Reform URL:

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Monday, December 29, 2008

Vote at to get a public financing proposal presented to the Obama Administration on Inauguration Day

Government reform orgs. deliver news on major events within their areas of expertise.
You Street

If you support public funding of elections, here's a great way to show it. By taking just a few minutes to actually "vote" for this idea, you can help us get a public funding proposal presented to the Obama Administration on Inauguration Day! Click here to vote for public funding of elections

Our friends and allies at are conducting a nationwide vote on the best "Ideas for Change in America." Only the top two vote-getters will make the cut, and so far publicly funded elections is one of the two — but only narrowly. Will you help put public funding over the top? We only have until Wednesday, 12/31vote now!

If we can get enough votes, "will then build a national campaign to advance [the] idea in Congress, marshaling the resources of, MySpace, and our dozens of partner organizations and millions of combined members." Wouldn't that be a great way to ring in the New Year?

Voting is quick and easy. Just click here and click the blue button that says "Vote!" with a number over it. Then sign up for (if you haven't already), then check for a confirmation email and confirm your account by clicking the link. Click the "Vote!" button again and your vote for publicly funded elections will be counted.

And please be sure to help us get out the vote by alerting your friends, so we can build the movement and make sure we're high on President Obama's agenda.

>All Things Reform Mobile: >Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 (not toll-free) >US House/Senate Mobile: >Contact your reps tips: >Shortened All Things Reform URL:

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 brings added focus and activism to clean elections movement

All Things Reform is pleased to interview Matt Stempeck of You Street, a new campaign of Americans for Campaign Reform. You Street's sole purpose is to make voluntary public funding of all federal elections the law of the land. It has structured its web site as a social network to encourage participation from its grassroots members across the country.

We presented Matt, who is You Street's Internet and New Media Director, with several questions about their new web site and political campaign.

ATR: Congratulations on your exciting new venture for public financing of elections! You clearly have made a point of having participation from your members. Would you say it is primarily a 'social network'? I understand you have teamed up with Ning in providing this feature.

Matt S.: Thank you! Our team has worked very hard on the rollout of our new You Street initiative. We hope it's a powerful reminder that we need you -- the American public -- to push for voluntary public funding of all federal elections. Every dinner table issue, such as the mortgage crisis in our banking system, the deregulation of Wall Street, the millions of Americans without healthcare, or stalled environmental legislation, can be traced to the influence of big money contributors on our leaders in Congress. It's our goals to make sure that the American people's interests come before the special interests. Our members are dedicated to public financing. They follow the news closely and they have strong opinions about the role of money in politics. As a small organization working to bring very significant change to our nation's political system, we're committed to encouraging our members to work with us and with each other. To be successful, we're going to need many more citizens' voices joining the cause, and we're going to need collective energy and resources. On You Street, our members can get to know each other, discuss the issues, organize and really run with any ideas they have. Of course, we know there are a number of other social networks out there and we don't expect our members to interact only on our site. To this end, we're reaching out to our members--and importantly, their friends--on the social networking sites they already use. We have a basic presence on Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and are eager to expand our role in those communities. We've seen a lot of interest on Facebook ( and Twitter ( so far, and we're excited to grow the movement in this way. We're looking at very possible way to rally the many voices we need for change.

ATR: What are the primary opportunities for your site users to get active?

Matt S.: We've tried to make our site not only a hub of information about public financing, but also a place where folks can contribute in meaningful ways. We make it easy to spread the word about public financing. In our "You Can" section ( the focus is online action you can take for offline change. There are easy but powerful tools to write your Senators and Representatives, send a message to President-elect Obama, recruit friends, and support the movement. We're also working on additional features, such as the ability to submit a blog post and organize local events, such as a film screening. In our Ning community (, we make it easy to connect with other You Street members. We have a forum for discussion as well as a section to upload photos. We've just opened the site to members, but we hope to see some great connections being made (and fun being had).

ATR: You already feature several 'groups' that members can join on your site. What do you hope to accomplish with them?

Matt S.: We've set up a few groups, including interest areas like energy policy and education, as well as state chapters, like Maine and California, where people can connect with other members who share an interest or home state. You can see all of the groups at Any member can create a new group (at and recruit members to it, which we heartily encourage. We hope to enable You Street members to connect with each other and discuss things that interest them, whether it be public financing or something completely unrelated. We're just getting started, but as you can see in our Energy Policy group there's already been some interesting discussion:

ATR: Public financing is a hot political topic, as both Barack Obama and John McCain have been advocates. With a new Obama administration and a Democratic congress, what are your hopes for the next two years?

Matt S.: It has been an exciting year for public financing. In the backlash that followed Obama's decision to opt out of public financing in the general election, the press kind of missed the fact that the reform community and campaign finance experts knew going into this election cycle that the current system was in dire need of an update, as the allocated amounts hadn't been adjusted for the modern costs of running a Presidential campaign. That's why we--and then-Senator Obama--endorsed the Presidential Public Funding Act ( to update this system. Whether or not Obama went back on his pledge at the time is between the voter and the candidate, but the fact remains that we need to revitalize our system of Presidential public financing. We're looking forward to 2009 as an unprecedented opportunity to promote public financing of congressional elections as well as the much-needed update to Presidential public financing. President-elect Obama is indeed an advocate, having been an original cosponsor of both the Fair Elections Now Act and the Presidential Public Funding Act. You can watch a video of Obama explaining the benefits of the Fair Elections Now Act at We're also fortunate that Obama is close to Senator Dick Durbin, the lead co-sponsor of the bill along with Senator Arlen Specter. Senator McCain has also been a longtime advocate of campaign finance reform. It's worth noting that Senator McCain represents Arizona, which was one of the first states to enact statewide public financing. In fact, in the 2008 election, two thirds of all state office candidates in Arizona opted in to the voluntary public financing system ( Former Arizona Governor and incoming Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano was elected using public financing and is a major advocate of the system (see So Senator McCain has seen public financing work in his own backyard. He hasn't signed on as a cosponsor to the Fair Elections Now Act yet (, but we sure encourage him retake his mantle of reform in the Senate. Public financing is going to remain a hot political topic even now that the election is over. Almost every major crisis we face is related in some way to where Congress gets its money. For example, our current financial crisis has its roots in the deregulation of Wall Street, which was achieved with the help of heavy amounts of targeted campaign contributions by Wall Street heavyweights. Wall Street gave ten times more money to the Representatives serving on the committees that oversee their business than they give to the rest of the House. These are smart investors and they knew what they're doing when they invested in our Congress. You can learn more in our recent Policy Paper, Wall Street Money In Politics ( And that's just one example.

ATR: There are other organizations deeply involved with this issue, including Public Campaign, Change Congress and Public Citizen. How may You Street contribute to the overall movement for public financing of elections?

Matt S.: We are fortunate to be one of several groups working for this important reform. Along with those you listed, Common Cause, the Brennan Center, and a number of other groups are also actively working to fix our system. Right now, for instance, we're working together to vote for "Citizens' funding of the nation's elections" ( at's Ideas contest ( Lawrence Lessig, Founder of Change Congress, submitted the idea and we're working together to vote it up and raise awareness of this important proposal. If we can collectively marshall enough votes for the idea, it will be presented to the Obama Administration on Inauguration Day. We may be unique among our colleagues in that we are single-mindedly dedicated to public funding of federal elections. It's been our sole mission since the organization was started in 2003. It's a real passion for all of us involved.

>All Things Reform Mobile: >Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 (not toll-free) >US House/Senate Mobile: >Contact your reps tips: >Shortened All Things Reform URL:

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

FairVote's Democracy Innovator Awards winners

Government reform orgs. deliver news on major events within their areas of expertise.

FairVote Announces Inaugural Democracy Innovator Awards
For Immediate Release: December 9, 2008 Contact: Rob Richie (301) 270-4616,

FairVote, a national nonpartisan, nonprofit election reform and voting rights organization, yesterday announced the inaugural winners of its Democracy Innovator awards at the conclusion of a conference about innovative election reforms. FairVote will issue its Democracy Innovator annually in recognition of outstanding local, state and national leaders for their effective advocacy of innovative policies to improve our elections.

This year's 2008 winners are:

---National Reform: Senator Bill Nelson (FL) won for developing and introducing an omnibus package of needed electoral reforms that include direct election of the president and innovative ways to improve voter registration, secure elections and meaningful primaries. Sen. Nelson's legislative counsel Matt Nosanchuk accepted the award on behalf on Sen Nelson

---State Reform: Maryland state senator Jamin Raskin and Maryland state representative Sheila Hixson won for their leadership in Maryland in 2007 becoming the first state to adopt the National Popular Vote plan for presidential elections and for advancing several innovative proposals encouraging voter participation. Sen. Raskin accepted the award for himself and on behalf of Delegate Hixson.

---Local Reform: Shelby County (TN) commissioner and University of Memphis law professor Steven Mulroy won for his effective advocacy of instant runoff voting, which was supported this year by 71% of voters for future city elections in the City of Memphis, and for his ground-breaking law review articles about proportional voting systems and the Voting Rights Act. Commissioner Mulroy accepted the award.

"Each of these leaders has been a true inspiration to Americans across the country," said Rob Richie, executive director of FairVote. "They embody the spirit of innovation and bold leadership that defines our country."

FairVote is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that promotes such electoral reforms as universal voter registration; advance voter registration and civic learning for 16-year-olds; instant runoff voting for one-winner offices; the National Popular Vote plan for presidential elections; and proportional voting and redistricting reform for legislative elections. Musician and author Krist Novoselic heads FairVote's board, where he is joined by the New Yorker's Hendrik Hertzberg, former presidential candidate John B. Anderson, Advancement Project counsel Edward Hailes, Jr. and other reform leaders. For more information, contact Rob Richie at (301) 270-4616.


>All Things Reform Mobile: >Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 (not toll-free) >US House/Senate Mobile: >Contact your reps tips: >Shortened All Things Reform URL:

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Major report- Broken Government on the George W. Bush adminstration's watch

Government reform orgs. deliver news on major events within their areas of expertise.
Center for Public Integrity

Broken Government Banner

Dear Friend,Broken Government Announcement

As the Bush administration comes to an end, the federal government is not functioning as it should. Just how bad is this government dysfunction? In an effort to answer that question, the Center for Public Integrity embarked on Broken Government, an examination of the worst systematic failures of the executive branch over the past eight years.

Broken Government documents more than 125 examples of government breakdown in areas as diverse as education, energy, the environment, justice and security, the military and veterans affairs, health care, transportation, financial management, consumer and worker safety, and more — failures which adversely affected ordinary people and made the nation a less open or less secure place to live.

Click here to read more from our latest investigation.

Want to read more about these widespread failures and how they affect you? Here’s what you can do to learn more:

  • Visit the website to search our database of government failures by category, agency, or view a full list;
  • Suggest additional failures so we can continue this project in January 2009, as well as begin the process of holding the new administration accountable;
  • Pass it on - let others know that Broken Government is now available online;
  • Make a contribution to support this project and help us continue our critical work!

This is just the first step of this groundbreaking project. Keep an eye out for more information from the Center for Public Integrity as we continue our investigation throughout 2009 into what it will take to repair and renew the nation’s government.

Thanks for your support.

Bill's signature

Bill Buzenberg
Executive Director

>All Things Reform Mobile: >Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 (not toll-free) >US House/Senate Mobile: >Contact your reps tips: >Shortened All Things Reform URL:

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Monday, December 08, 2008

Dec. 10th is the deadline for students to enter the Students Face Up to the Nation's Finances contest

Government reform orgs. deliver news on major events within their areas of expertise.
Facing Up to the Nation's Finances

The Challenge

Be the policymaker, the advisor, or the opinion columnist. What do you think about the federal government’s fiscal crisis, and what do you think should be done?

Make your voice heard and submit your thoughts as part of a national contest (as well as for an assignment in your class). Please write a short essay or create a video or other multimedia presentation (“Entry”) addressing any or all of these questions:

  • Please discuss the causes and potential consequences of growing national debt for America and your generation.

  • What are some reforms that you would support in order to reduce debt and restore a healthier economic future for the United States?

In addition to being part of a national competition with four prizes of $500 each awarded at the end of the semester, your work may be posted on Public Agenda’s website, featured on YouTube, and elsewhere, republished in other forms, and brought to the attention of national leaders and news media.


Entries will be accepted starting Oct. 1, 2008, on All Entries must be received by Dec. 10, 2008, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The winners in all categories will be selected by Dec. 19, 2008, and announced on the website that day.


Students are eligible to participate if they are currently enrolled in a participating college or university and have participated in Students Face Up in a course or in an event on your campus. Proof of participation will be required by the winner.

Each participant can only submit one entry.

[Facing Up article has further contest details]

>All Things Reform Mobile: >Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 (not toll-free) >US House/Senate Mobile: >Contact your reps tips: >Shortened All Things Reform URL:

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Now on All Things Reform: Government Reform Readings

Detail from Government. Mural by Elihu Vedder....Image via WikipediaIntroducing a new feature to our feature-rich blog sidebar: Government Reform Readings. It is a link to All Things Reform's Diigo list of notable bookmarks.

Find a selection of important news and research reports from the last couple of years from respected sources on ethical, electoral, campaign finance and fiscal reforms.

Government Reform Readings.

>All Things Reform Mobile: >Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 (not toll-free) >US House/Senate Mobile: >Contact your reps tips: >Shortened All Things Reform URL:

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Add your name to our Followers widget!

Announcing a great new resource for readers of All Things Reform. You can now identify your following of government reform with our "Following" widget. It is always at the top of this blog's sidebar.

Now, share your interest and activism in all things government reform with others- add your name to the Followers widget today! Thanks.

>All Things Reform Mobile: >Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 (not toll-free) >US House/Senate Mobile: >Contact your reps tips: >Shortened All Things Reform URL:

Reform groups' policy wishlists receive attention from Obama transition team

Barack Obama speaking in Houston, Texas on the...Image via WikipediaGovernment reform orgs. deliver news on major events within their areas of expertise.
From: Open House Project Google Group

Posted by: "kimoC"

Video intro here - two way discussion they post all submissions to
Obama and you can post your own submission or comment


Sam Stein, writing in the Huffington Post today, reacts to Obama
transition team chief John Podesta's announcement that the team will
publicize the names and agenda items of the groups that are meeting
with it, not just the organizations that are meeting with the president-elect
and his staff, but also the documents (policy "wish lists") they bring
with them.
"Every day, we meet with organizations who present ideas for the
Transition and the Administration, both orally and in writing," reads
a memo from Podesta to the Obama staff. "We want to ensure that we
give the American people a 'seat at the table' and that we receive the
benefit of their feedback."

>All Things Reform Mobile: >Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 (not toll-free) >US House/Senate Mobile: >Contact your reps tips: >Shortened All Things Reform URL:

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Friday, December 05, 2008

Public Citizen shares 2008 achievements in government reform

The President delivers the annual State of the...Image via Wikipedia
Government reform orgs. deliver news on major events within their areas of expertise.

Public Citizen

Your Top 2008 Achievements

- Your donations helped us hold a press conference on vehicle roof crush standards

- Thousands of you wrote to Congress demanding consumer protections in the financial bailout package

- You helped us send petitions to AIG and Congress demanding an end to wasteful corporate spending

- By spreading the word, you helped our action network grow by thousands of members

The Year in Photos

Click on a photo to learn more, and visit our Flickr page for all of our photos!

| Rallies | | Press Events | | Celebrities | | Testimony |

Our Top 2008 Achievements

- Court Rules Wal-Mart Parody is Protected Free Speech: Public Citizen won a resounding victory for free speech! In the case, a federal judge in Georgia ruled that parody Web sites that criticize the business practices of Wal-Mart are protected under the First Amendment. Learn more.

- Hollywood Star Tells Dangers of Mislabeled Drugs, Devices: Lawmakers got an earful from Hollywood actor Dennis Quaid when he testified about how his twins were almost killed when they received the wrong drug as part of a labeling mixup. Learn more about Public Citizen's involvement as part of Quaid's legal team and about his testimony.

- Court: No More Secrecy for Crash Data: An appellate court ruled that information automobile and tire manufacturers submit to the government about crashes resulting in death, injury and property damage should be available to the public. Learn more.

- Bush Signs Strong Product Safety Bill Into Law: A new law that will overhaul product safety and bolster the Consumer Product Safety Commission requires the testing of toys and infant products before they reach store shelves, as well as the creation of the first publicly accessible consumer complaint database. Learn more.

- Federal Government Releases Early Warning Data on Autos: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration made its Early Warning Reporting data available on its Web site in response to Public Citizen's successful lawsuits and Freedom of Information Act requests. Learn more.

- Fluoroquinolone Antibiotic Leads to Tendon Ruptures: Public Citizen sued the FDA in federal court to force the agency to act on a petition seeking stricter warnings for the antibiotic. Learn more.

- Bills Would Restore Rights of Patients Injured by Faulty Medical Devices: Public Citizen urged Congress to promptly pass legislation that would restore the rights of patients injured by defective or inadequately labeled medical devices to seek compensation for their injuries from the device manufacturers. Learn more.

- Public Citizen to Congress: Reform Oil Industry, Financial Markets: Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen's Energy Program, told a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee that uncompetitive practices by oil companies and manipulation of the market by financial speculators are two culprits behind soaring gas prices. Learn more.

. >All Things Reform Mobile: >Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 (not toll-free) >US House/Senate Mobile: >Contact your reps tips: >Shortened All Things Reform URL: .
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Join, a public finance activist community now online

Government reform orgs. deliver news on major events within their areas of expertise.
You Street

The future starts today!

Our nation stands at a crossroads.

In the recent election, millions of Americans from all over the political map made it clear they've had their fill of big-money special interests that thwart the policy changes we need. Changes that can solve the critical problems that affect each of us - like health care, energy independence, education, the environment, or regulating the financial markets.

Your support of public funding has been instrumental in bringing us closer to our goal than ever before. Today we have a new president strongly committed to our cause, a new Congress and a newly mobilized citizenry. The time is ripe to marshal all our resources and push for the enactment of voluntary public funding. That's why change is coming to Just $6, too.

Join us on the road to a better America!

Today we are launching a powerful new initiative designed to bring the public into public funding as never before. It's a new communications program we call You Street - America's road back to democracy. You Street is named for the one person who can make public funding a reality: You.

It's no secret that the road is filled with challenges. But we must seize this opportunity to forge an entirely new form of campaign finance; one that has at its core masses of small citizen donations. That's one of the key reasons we've created - a bold and dynamic new website where supporters can join together, find strength in numbers and become an irresistible force for change.

Please take a few minutes now to visit As a past supporter you'll have a special opportunity to become a charter member - one of You Street's First Movers. And if you like what you see, please make a donation that will help keep expanding our web presence and spreading the word.

One of our Chairs, former Senator Warren Rudman, reminds us that "...this is one of those issues that's going to take the American people to get really vocal about." So, one of the best ways you can help is to forward this email to 4 friends and contacts who might want to be part of our movement.

Help us restore integrity to our politics and our policies. Won't you join us on the road to a better America? You Street and public funding need you.

Visit today!

You Street is an initiative of Americans for Campaign Reform, a non-profit, non-partisan group that is single-mindedly dedicated to public funding.

>All Things Reform Mobile: >Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 (not toll-free) >US House/Senate Mobile: >Contact your reps tips: >Shortened All Things Reform URL:

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Sign petition to President-Elect Obama for principles of open government

Government reform orgs. deliver news on major events within their areas of expertise.
From: OpenCongress

December 2, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

It’s clear that Barack Obama believes in the power of the internet to make government more transparent and participatory. His weekly addresses on YouTube, the interactive health care discussion he’s hosting on, and his decision over the weekend to place all content on under the freest Creative Commons license, all indicate that he’s serious about implementing the technology ideas that he spoke about during his campaign.

As the Obama-Biden Transition Team is settling in and establishing the tone of their operation, we’ve joined a host of other open government advocates – including Mozilla, Change Congress, EFF, and our sister organization, PCF – in sending them a letter to encourage them to take a few more crucial steps towards being truly open. For example, while posting videos on YouTube is a step towards integrating government information into the flow of culture, the platform doesn’t allow users to download videos so they can be remixed and used in new ways.

Click here to read the letter and to sign on.

Here’s the abbreviated version of the three principles we’re asking that the Transition Team and the new government apply to their use of the Internet every step of the way:

1. No Legal Barrier to Sharing – Content made publicly available in the course of this transition — such as President-elect Obama’s videos, or policy statements posted on the website — should be freely licensed so that citizens can share, excerpt, remix or otherwise redistribute this content without unnecessary complexity imposed by the law.

2. No Technological Barrier to Sharing – A merely legal freedom to share and remix, however, can be thwarted by technological constraints. Content made publicly available should also be freely accessible, not blocked by technological barriers. Citizens should be able to download transition-related content in a way that makes it simple to share, excerpt, remix, or redistribute. This is an essential digital freedom.

3. Free Competition – Governments should remain neutral in the marketplace of ideas. Transition-generated content should thus not be made publicly available in a way that unfairly benefits one commercial entity over another, or commercial entities over noncommercial entities.

Please join us by signing on to these principles.

>All Things Reform Mobile: >Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 (not toll-free) >US House/Senate Mobile: >Contact your reps tips: >Shortened All Things Reform URL:

Get the latest news on the government bailouts and take action at

Government reform orgs. deliver news on major events within their areas of expertise.
From: is a joint venture of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) and Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). The purpose of the website is to educate about government’s role in our current financial difficulties, suggest reforms that address those root causes, and provide a clearinghouse for the latest analysis of the financial crisis. But most of all, it’s an outlet for Americans to contact their Members of Congress and the Administration to express their frustration.

Many Americans are angry about the bailout plan, and rightly so. Those who played by the rules and acted responsibly are now being forced to pick up the tab for those who didn’t.

America owes its economic success to our free-market system, a system that involves risk. Some businesses succeed, while others fail. Those who succeed deserve the rewards of that success, while those who fail should learn from their mistakes by going out of business. They shouldn’t run to the government for a handout. is a place for honest, everyday Americans to educate themselves and contact their representatives to ensure that the government policies that helped create this mess are fixed for the long-term, not just for a few more months.

>All Things Reform Mobile: >Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 (not toll-free) >US House/Senate Mobile: >Contact your reps tips: >Shortened All Things Reform URL:

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Ask your two US Senators if they placed a hold on Neil Barofsky's nomination for Special Inspector General of SIGTARP

Government reform orgs. deliver news on major events within their areas of expertise.
From: POGO- Project on Government Oversight

Dec 02, 2008

DetectiveOver the past few weeks, we have raised numerous concerns about how long it's taken Congress to confirm Neil Barofksy as the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) and give him the authority and resources he needs to accomplish his mission. As we wrote last week, the latest stumbling block is that a senator appears to have placed a secret hold on Barofsky's nomination.

Whatever your position on the bailout may be, taxpayers everywhere should be concerned that an anonymous senator is preventing Barofksy from taking office and investigating wasteful and abusive bailout expenditures. TPMMuckraker has launched a campaign to identify the senator who placed the secret hold. Can you help solve the mystery??

Please take a moment to contact your senators and politely ask whether or not they placed a hold on Barofsky's nomination (click here to look up who your senators are). If you get an answer, let the folks at TPMMuckraker know by emailing them or posting a comment on their blog. And while you're at it, be sure to check out the GAO's latest recommendations for improving accountability and transparency in the bailout program.

-- Michael Smallberg

[POGO article accepts comments]

>All Things Reform Mobile: >Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 (not toll-free) >US House/Senate Mobile: >Contact your reps tips: >Shortened All Things Reform URL:

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]