Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Citizen's briefing book

If citizens of the U.S. were given a platform to present their concerns to the new administration,  a summary  might look like the Citizen's Briefing Book (but shouldn't it be Citizens' briefing book? - it's a briefing by the citizens, not for the citizen):

As a closing act for the Transition, Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett requested that the Office of Public Liaison create a process by which Americans outside of Washington could come together to present ideas directly to the President – a “Citizen’s Briefing Book.”

The idea was to use the Transition website, change.gov, to create a grassroots version of the research binders that presidents receive every day. But instead of advice from top government officials, the Citizen’s Briefing Book is composed of ideas submitted by ordinary people and reflecting the enthusiastic engagement from the public we saw throughout the course of Change.gov.

125,000 users submitted over 44,000 ideas and cast over 1.4 million votes, with the most popular ideas accumulating tens of thousands of votes each. This book contains some of the top ideas, broken into groups by issue area. You can tell how popular each idea was by looking at the number next to it – it represents how many people voted for the idea, with 10 points awarded for each positive vote. In addition, you will find a “word cloud” for each category of ideas representing the frequency with which various words and concepts appeared through the entire process.

Out of the tens of thousands of submissions, these ideas found the most support; here they are, unvarnished and unedited.

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