The Problem:

WASHINGTON, D.C., STATE CAPITALS AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS ARE PLACES WHERE GOOD IDEAS GO TO DIE ....

Why isn’t America working for “everyone”? The answer is simple. “Everyone” isn’t included.

  • Nine people on a city/county council out of 300,000 citizens is NOT “everyone”.
  • One hundred fifty people in state capitols out of 6,000,000 citizens is NOT “everyone”.
  • Five hundred thirty five people in Washington D.C., out of 300,000,000 citizens is NOT
    “everyone”.

The Solution:

Four goals of the program:

  • Encourage local citizens to identify problems and raise issues.
  • Educate the people and promote discussion and debate.
  • Provide the citizenry a real voice in community affairs by providing a means to vote on issues.
  • Promote 'Volunteerism'. Encourage the citizenry to engage in active participation.

“Under the old system, if you have an idea that you think can make the community better or you see something that you are not happy with, your only alternative is to go to one of your local politicians and plead your case and if he agrees with you, it may go forward. But I think that we are all starting to learn that Federal, State and Local Government is where great ideas go to die. What we need is a system set up in our communities where great ideas go to thrive. There are some wonderful ideas out there in each community that are waiting to be test marketed and so what we are saying is this, everybody has access to a television and everybody has access to a touch tone phone. What we want to do is use that television for something other than programming us to be oversexed and over-violent. We want to use that as a tool so that we can start raising local issues, letting people in the community present their ideas to make your community better, whether it be in education, environment, taxation, whatever it is.”
~ David Frank ~ ‘300 Million Minds: Changing America Piece by Peace’

The Specifics:

Here’s a more detailed description of how the issues will be raised, debated, and voted on. The process is as follows:

community-triangle.gif

We need two Technological Components in each community…

A “LOCAL ISSUES TELEVISION AND RADIO STATION” (Your Local Public Broadcasting Station) to send the information over the Television, Radio and Internet out to the community.

A “COMMUNITY COMPUTER” (Community Voter Database) to receive the calls (votes) from any touch-tone phone. The Computer will verify the voter, ask what issue number they want to vote on, count the vote and prevent multiple voting. Issues of, by and for the people…

  1. After the computer system is in place and people start receiving their voter I.D. number, the computer will pick ten people every week at random. The reason for this is to provide a filtering
    system for our issues. We do not want to watch or debate issues that do not have merit. The ten people picked will be replaced every week for the same reason that the judicial system replaces a jury after every issue—to lower the chance of influence and bribery affecting the system. This will give people an opportunity for participation they would never have had under the former arrangement.
  2. When the people of the community have ideas that they believe will make things better,
    they can present them to the ten members chosen through this random filtering system. If the
    majority of the ten believe that the idea in question should be considered by the community at
    large, the presenter goes to the next step.
  3. The next step is videotaping the presenter and his/her issue, after which the issue is presented over an area TV station for a period of ten days. There will be two phone numbers shown on the video presentation. One number people can call and be part of a “lobbying group” for the issue and the other number they can call to lobby against the issue. When they call either one of those numbers, information will be given as to where and when these two lobbying groups will come together and prepare.
  4. Thirty days later, there will be a debate by these two lobbying groups. The debate will be
    videotaped and replayed over the television station for ten more days. A new phone number will
    be provided on the video broadcast – a local number registered voters can call. Their calls will
    go into the computer.
  5. When calling to vote, the computer will ask them to press 1 for English and 2 for Spanish.
    The next prompt will ask the voter to press 1 if they are registered and 2 if they are not
    registered. Those pressing 2 will be informed on how to get registered. The next prompt will ask
    for their personal ID number and another fact to verify the voter’s identity. Then the caller will be
    asked to enter the number of the issue they wish to vote on. Finally, the caller will press 1 for
    “yes” and 2 for “no.” Their vote will be counted and they will be prevented from voting more than
    once.
  6. Every time the debate is replayed, there will be an updated tally of the “yes” and “no” votes.
    At the end of the ten days, not only will the people in the community understand the issue in its
    entirety, but the outcome will come from the people.
  7. The resulting information will be given to our elected officials so they can make much more
    educated and informed decisions. Those officials who do not vote with the people will be held
    accountable, since the people will be updated on who voted for or against a given issue. At
    regular election time, the people can then make a much more informed decision as to which
    candidates best serve the well–informed populace.

This new system will empower our local officials to better serve the people, and empower the
citizenry to have more input in, and better knowledge of the issues that affect their lives.

It will empower our local officials to pass laws we want
passed (and even take laws off the books that no longer are needed).

We could finally get busy fixing our communities and stop waiting for politicians to try and do it
with little in the way of broad, meaningful public input.This is the communication tool we have
been waiting for to bring our community into the 21st century.

We can use our voice and our knowledge to reinvent our heath care system, our failing
educational system, our crumbling roads and our troubled penal, tax, judicial, and economic
systems, etc.

This is a 21st Century System that is truly of the people, by the people and finally, for the
people…This can be done, but it is going to take everyone standing up together for a “Voice.”