The Pitch: Government Participation Made Easy
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Photo: Rae Huo
Hawaii Policy Portal
HAWAII POLICY PORTAL FACILITATES LEGISLATIVE TESTIMONY FOR ORGANIZATIONS AND THEIR CONSTITUENTS. Through the portal, the general public can easily submit testimony to the appropriate government committee by filling out an online form and hitting ‘send.’
We feel people have become cynical, disenchanted and distrustful of government operations. Our goal is to make information and government functions more transparent. If we can make participation easy and simple, then we feel we can get people re-engaged in the political process and help organizations educate their members on legislative issues.
Organizations sign up at hawaiipolicyportal.org and pay $1,000 for one year of service. The fees are Hawaii Policy Portal’s only source of revenue. Organizations must adhere to the Earth Charter (found at earthcharter.org), which provides guidelines and principles for a “sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice and a culture of peace.”Once organizations sign up, they create an advocacy page and add legislative bills they want to track. Organizations follow the status of the bills themselves and send their members e-mails with links to their advocacy pages. Members fill out an online form to submit official testimony.
We are currently looking at tools used at MAPlight.org, a public database linking politicians’ voting records and campaign contributions. We would like to have a similar online tool for Hawaii politicians and plan to launch it in September 2009.
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