The Pitch: Government Participation Made Easy

The Pitch: Government Participation Made Easy

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Expert Feedback:

Richard Botti,
president, Legislative Information Service of Hawaii

Nonprofits will be challenged to get this project funded. It’s too negative about what’s wrong with government. Government is transparent, with meetings seen on TV. Requiring participants to subscribe to the Earth Charter creates the perception that the group is primarily environmentalists. While there is nothing wrong with this, nonprofit organizations come in all sizes and shapes, with different missions. Success will require a broad-brush approach. Remember, nothing happens until something is sold, and credibility is hard to come by.

Valerie Koenig,
founder, Business Plans Hawaii

Well-done pitch. My only criticism is that the owners state the main reason people are not currently engaged is because they have become disenchanted. If so, even making the system more transparent will not help. On a practical note, I am not sure how many groups have $1,000 to organize their lobbying efforts. And many groups with money, especially business interests, prefer that their “advocacy” remain on the down-low.

Lei Ahu Isa,
assistant professor of management, Hawaii Pacific University

A very creative and necessary idea, through which the public can submit testimony expeditiously. The major advantage is the “Quick Links” section, which combines all other links on one site. As a former legislator, I suggest the following: (1) Include a notification next to 48-hour committee hearings so that organizations know the turnaround time is short. (2) Donate $3 from each signed-up organization to start a fund to advocate campaign finance reform in Hawaii. (3) Provide testimonials from those successful with their bills as a result of this site.

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