The most fitting means of discussing online civic participation is via online civic participation. If you live in a battleground state, turns out you can do so within the context of a presidential election ☺.
On Monday, September 22, representatives of Senator Obama and Senator McCain will discuss their candidate’s technology platform with interested citizens and the media in Cincinnati Ohio. Via Skype video chat.
Tech policy today is super important. Should all citizens have access to affordable broadband? Should all citizens have access to training to utilize broadband? How should innovation be encouraged to ensure job development and technological advances? Should the internet be regulated to ensure full participation? These are some of the technology issues our next presidential administration needs to have thought through. And thought through very carefully.
I and other community technology advocates in Ohio put together an online civic participation event at Media Bridges in Cincinnati Ohio because:
A) We recognized the need to draw attention to these issues,
B) We recognize the benefit of living in a battleground state and,
C) We could utilize the upcoming international One Web Day.
Each representative will present their platform for 15 minutes then answer questions from the attendees. The event will begin at 10:30 a.m. The Skype chat between each speaker and attendees will be posted online Monday afternoon.
The host site is a perfect location within Ohio for this event. Media Bridges is Ohio’s flagship public access station and is known nationally for their work within the field of community technology and community media.
Representing Senator Obama will be Gigi Sohn, co-founder of Public Knowledge. The McCain folks have not confirmed their speaker. They have confirmed they will participate. I will update this post as soon as we know.
Every year on September 22, One Web Day is the day to define the benefits and challenges of the internet. As a global project, One Web Day focuses attention on a key internet value (this year, online participation in democracy), focuses attention on local internet concerns (connectivity, censorship, individual skills), and creates a global constituency that cares about protecting and defending the internet. Events are taking place all over the world. The Cincinnati event is but one piece. As a One Web Day Ambassador, my role is to promote One Web Day and assist with event organization.
In addition to the online civic participation event, Media Bridge’s One Web activities include featuring a documentary video about HeadCount, a non-partisan, non-profit organization focused upon voter registration at concerts and other community events. They will also show a video profiling the opinions of Cincinnatians on Internet policy and provide the opportunity to comment on both videos and OneWebDay itself.
I do love living in an important battleground state. And I love interacting with folks in the state and outside of the state who view online civic participation as important enough to donate their time and energy to the topic. Such as by helping create this unique event.