I was behind the wheel in Bethesda, Md. on a hollow October night. An old friend in the passenger seat noticed a new addition to a speed limit sign: the words “photo enforced.” With a waning sense of civic pride, he discussed feeling blindsided by a policy that he never knew about until it was too late.
Maybe it had something to do with the weather, but my friend’s words seemed to stem from a universal longing for some outside force – some mechanism or being powerful enough to change our made-up minds that this is the way it has to be.
But the truth is that the mechanism is real. It’s the Internet, and society uses it in every waking moment for every possible reason – except to afford citizens their fundamental right to comment on proposed government actions.
With all of the ways that the Internet has revolutionized our personal lives, an idle opportunity still exists to work side by side with our decision-makers. Digitizing dialogue between citizen and government is a simple idea that has been waiting to unfold since the very first email was sent.
It’s a nonpartisan issue: the government needs to hear our voices, we the people need to be heard, and it doesn’t have to be so complicated.
“There’s a whole generation of digital natives that are taking solutions into their own hands and doing things in ways that, frankly, government is not prepared to adopt and accept,” said California’s Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom in an interview with CBS on Monday.
Fortunately, stagnant democracy doesn’t have to be our reality. You can sign a petition to help your state move forward. You can help catalyze transparency and interconnectivity. Most of all, you can help bring governance into the 21st century.
By: Daniel A. Shyti Jr.
Director of Advocacy, N&C, Inc.