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Monday, May 22, 2006

GEL 2006 - Andrew Rasiej

 
Andrew Raisej ran for public office in NYC as a "Public Advocate" attempting to get WiFi installed in public spaces. He acknowledged as one of his failure points (he did not win) was that he was running for an office that people did not recognize (was there a public advocate?) nor was he advocating a cause people understood (what is WiFi anyway?). He added to his failure by refusing to accept donations over $100. So the very folks who could have helped him (with money) were the ones he excluded from funding him. Needless to say there may be a good discussion on who didn't get it. Nevertheless, he has learned from the experience. Which is a very important thing to do!
 
He founded the Personal Democracy Forum. The PDF Manifesto (replicated here) is

Democracy in America is changing.

A new force, rooted in new tools and practices built on and around the Internet, is rising alongside the old system of capital-intensive broadcast politics.

Today, for almost no money, anyone can be a reporter, a community organizer, an ad-maker, a publisher, a money-raiser, or a leader.

If what they have to say is compelling, it will spread.

The cost of finding like-minded souls, banding together, and speaking to the powerful has dropped to almost zero.

Networked voices are reviving the civic conversation.

More people, everyday, are discovering this new power. After years of being treated like passive subjects of marketing and manipulation, they want to be heard.

Members expect a say in the decision-making process of the organizations they join. Readers want to talk back to the news-makers. Citizens are insisting on more openness and transparency from government.

All the old institutions and players-big money, top-down parties, big-foot journalism, cloistered organizations-must adapt or face losing status and power.

Personal Democracy, where everyone is a full participant, is coming.

The Personal Democracy Forum is your place to meet the people who are making that change happen, discover the tools powering the new civic conversation, spot the early trends, and share in understanding and embracing this dynamic new force.

 
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