From Your Lips to Obama’s Ears

by Team Intern

 Wouldn’t it be great if you could schedule a session to talk politics with Obama? Imagine meeting him over afternoon tea in his office to discuss policy matters and throw around ideas. What if you could influence federal policy?

 Well, thanks to Obama’s Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government , he is lending an ear. The program has been in effect since May, when Americans were given the chance to brainstorm recommendations for creating an ‘open government’ between the people and politicians. Utilizing the resources of the Internet, people could write in suggestions and read others in a discussion forum online through Obama’s Office of Science and Technology.

 While this brainstorming phase has passed, you can still have a say in the new policies. Obama is now asking individuals to write up drafts and the site is super user-friendly. Similar to Internet wiki pages, you can read, edit and add to your documents or anyone else’s. Another way to participate is by simply rating other people’s drafts. I looked through the site today and, surprisingly, very few ideas have been submitted. Bottom line: by joining in, you have a very good chance of being heard.

Drafting is open through June 28th and voting will continue through June 30. At the end of this time, top rated policies will be reviewed and used to inform the drafting of an ‘Open Government Directive’ to Executive Branch agencies.

If it sounds like a mouthful, it’s only because I’m not the best at ‘splaining this. Check out the New York Times article for the simple lowdown. ~Hannah

Photo courtesy of

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