Obama Launches Web Site to Encourage Participation in Government

Posted May 21, 2009 at 3:55pm

The White House is launching a new initiative to encourage private citizens to participate in policymaking.

“The goal is to experiment with mechanisms for effective citizen participation in order to complement the know-how of government employees with the knowledge and expertise of the American people,— the White House said in a statement. “With today’s tools, we can create a two-way dialogue between the American people and their government. We can empower the wiki army’ of citizen-experts to inform government decision making.—

The process begins this week with a “brainstorming— phase to elicit ideas on how to go about the initiative, followed by a “discussion— phase June 3-14, and then a “drafting— phase June 15-19 that will use a wiki collaborative Web site to draft recommendations.

“This will help us achieve a new foundation for our government — a foundation built on the values of transparency, accountability, and responsibility,— said Valerie Jarrett, White House senior adviser for intergovernmental affairs and public engagement. “This is a chance to brainstorm ideas, discuss the most promising ones, and collaborate with one another on next steps.—