Tag Archives: TESTIMONY

A Simple Way to Make Government Better – Give More People a Chance to Be Heard

There is a little food shop down the street from where I live that seems to know more about using technology than the $6 billion dollar organization where I work.

I work at San Francisco City Hall.

The shop in the Sunset District in San Francisco was having some challenges. People complained on Yelp. The shop owner was kind of mad at first, but then he figured it out. The response was actually helping him understand how to get better. And when he fixed the problems, the neighbors came back.

If we can use technology to make a small business more responsive to the neighborhood, why can’t we use it to make our government better?

The answer is we can.

That’s why I have a pretty simple idea to help make my City Hall more effective and responsive. And I would like to ask for your help in making it a reality.

My idea is to allow more people to talk back to government by being able to make their voices heard at City Hall by submitting YouTube videos that would be heard just like other public testimony.

If you have ever been down to your own City Hall to testify or if you have watched this process on TV you know the problem. What happens now is most of the testimony seems to come from about the same people who either work for government, are lobbyists or work for people who have city contracts or want city contracts.

There is nothing wrong at all with these people making their voices heard. And most of them here in San Francisco are pretty knowledgeable and committed to a better city. The problem is that not enough people can be heard. And a government decision is only going to be as good as the information it was based on.

Right now almost every single Board and Commission, including our Board of Supervisors, meets during the day. So what about the people who work or go to school or just can’t make it to City Hall on a few days notice? What about virtually everyone else?

So here’s a pretty simple – and absolutely free – way of making government better right now.

Let’s ask our government boards and agencies to accept ten minutes of testimony via YouTube, and hear that testimony on equal footing with the lobbyists and activists who can make it to City Hall.

We could make it social. So if more than five videos were submitted, only those with the most “likes” would be shown.

This may seem like a small idea. But it is based on a pretty radical concept – democracy works. The more people can be heard, the better our government will be. And when we open up government to more people, not just the usual suspects, the decisions will be more representative of the rest of us.

A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog about how we can reset local government. My idea was that one of the most progressive things we can do right now is to make government better.

Using technology to open up government is just a start. And we need to remember that not everyone has Internet access or knows how to make a YouTube video. But it is a big leap forward from the system we have now.

Resetting local government will take many steps. Here’s a pretty big one. Let’s allow YouTube Testimony at City Hall.

If You Agree – Sign the Petition: Yes – I want YouTube Testimony at City Hall

VIDEO: Faithful Mormon testifies against Prop 8 in church

A courageous Mormon begins testifying earnestly (and exceedingly calmly) against Prop 8 in church … and the LDS bishop turns off the microphone!

If only more of the faithful could be so brave …

The video speaks for itself:

More Mormons (and more LDS Fast and Testimony meetings) like this one, please.

Bravo, sir!

Any chance a Maine Catholic or two might find the gumption to take a similar stand in the coming weeks?

It’s time to stand up and face down these swiftboating political false prophets.

California Democrats Welcome Your Platform Testimony For 2008

(If you ever wanted a voice…here you go. (format editing) – promoted by Lucas O’Connor)

Hello Everyone,

The California Democratic Party Platform Committee, including Calitics' own Dante Atkins, is beginning our work putting together the 2008 Platform. In order to start the process, the Committee crafted a draft Blueprint for the Golden State and encourages all to participate in sending testimony. We invite all Democrats to help shape our Blueprint for 2008. Please share your values and priorities at [email protected].

The Regional Directors will be convening regional meetings in October 2007 that will include platform hearings.  Please stay tuned for a full calendar of events.Look forward to working with everyone.  To read the 2006 Platform, please follow this link: http://www.cadem.org…

Best, Christine

Christine Pelosi
CA Democratic Party Platform Chair


Here is the Blueprint:

America's strength derives from people coming together and working for the common good. We believe in a strong economy that increases political, social, and cultural opportunity. We believe in inclusion and equality so that all can reach their fullest human potential.  We are committed to upholding our Federal and State Constitutions, protecting and defending ourselves and our civil liberties, and ensuring justice, freedom, and equal opportunity. We believe that by standing firm and acting positively on these values, America can reclaim her vision and lead the world as a beacon of optimism and unity.

The people of California deserve a government that supports their hard work and shares their hopes for the future.  Our Platform represents the Democratic vision for our State, embracing and implementing the dreams of Californians.  We firmly defend these American beliefs, values, and traditions and will work with elected officials and activists to achieve our vision in government and in our communities.

The California Democratic Party will:

Promote peace, real security, the rule of law, and human rights both at home and abroad

Provide guaranteed support for first responders, military servicemembers, and veterans

Fight to restore the Constitutional balance among the branches of the federal government

Create a 21st century economy built on a diverse workforce educated by quality public schools with the right to organize

Promote access and equality in employment, educational, and economic opportunities

Ensure universal, comprehensive, and affordable health care for all Californians

Protect a woman's right to choose how to use her mind, her body and her time

Secure a dignified retirement for our seniors, including Social Security and Medicare for future generations

Make California the most energy-independent state, build new industries in the effort to fight global warming and pollution, and protect our natural resources

Build smart, sustainable, safe, environmentally sound, and caring communities

Support the arts, especially in our public schools

Insist upon fiscal common sense, responsibility, and accountability in California and Washington