There’s a huge wave of government transparency and citizen engagement building that will change the way we interact with our government like we’ve never seen before. We’re witnessing a revolution that will build a stronger America, and it couldn’t have come at a more opportune time.
As local, state and federal budgets see less funding and more scrutiny during these economic times, innovation and collaboration from civic-minded developers, open government advocates and fresh-thinking public servants will usher in a democratic process that brings public officials and citizens closer than ever.
On a whim, GovFresh quickly launched, leveraging social media tools like FriendFeed and WordPress, producing a simple “Government News Network.” Since then, I’ve been exposed to a different Washington, D.C., than I left 10 years ago. I naively posted a critique of government Web operations and immediately engaged with some of the brightest minds in the new government movement. Social media has changed the face of public debate and my experience with GovFresh is just one example.
Silicon Valley and the Nation’s Capital are having a meeting of the minds, and patriots from sea to shining sea are rallying to build a truer democracy, for the people, by the people.
Gov 2.0 efforts from federal to local, such as Data.gov, USAspending.gov and social media engagement are strong signs the U.S. Government is beginning to accept the changing nature of transparency, public policy-making and participatory democracy.
Citizen 2.0 projects such as White House 2, GovLoop, TweetCongress, and thousands of other Web, social media and mobile applications are making it easier to connect with public officials and voice opinions, direct to the source. Direct representation has never been more so than it is today. Transparency organizations like Sunlight Foundation are challenging citizens to get creative, engage, try new ideas, even fail, knowing that we’re on the path to building a more perfect Union.
America 2.0 will be built on the abundance of creativity, innovation, collaboration and energy of today’s citizens and its government.
It’s a great moment in time to be a patriot.