FEM vote. US The RE-Founding Sisters – Real Representation in Virtual Districts

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Session Topic: The Re-founding Sisters, Real Representation in Virtual Districts

Wednesday 3I

Convener: Britt Blaser

Notes-taker: Britt Blaser

Discussion notes, key understandings, outstanding questions, observations, and, if appropriate to this discussion: action items, next steps:

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“Virtual district” was coined in a 2009 paper written by Britt Blaser, David Weinberger and Joe Trippi, for the annual meeting of the Digital Government Society of North America, reviewed by Craig Newmark at the Hill. A virtual district is a social network whose members are credentialed as constituents in a real-world political jurisdiction. Background:

Real Representation

Britt’s claim was confirmed by Phil Windley: it’s well understood in politics that a few vocal constituents have a disproportionately large influence on policy, because representatives actually hear from so few constituents, and that the constituents they hear from rarely deal with the arcane, complex language that defines policy in the helpful way that the open source community deals with the even more arcane, complex language that defines computation.

Re-founding Sisters

A phrase to inspire young women to realize their power, based on John Ellis' book the Founding Brothers. He stressed that the “Founding Fathers" were not gray-bearded leaders, but were young, future leaders growing into their roles. Similarly, young women who think of themselves as sisters and not authority figures may be best equipped to reframe the American experiment, based on statistically valid online representation.

FEMvote.us will deploy the combined capabilities of NewGov.US + SNAPvote14.com to create a virtual district for every one of America’s 435 Congressional districts. FEMvote.US is in formation by 21st century women, defined as women who have lived half their lives in the 21st century.

Britt demoed the complementary online services of NewGov.US and SNAPvote14.com. Each service places participants and their media on political jurisdiction maps and creates some level of confidence that the participant is a constituent. High confidence is a powerful motivator to politicians and their staffs.

The NewGov GEOvoter API acts as a “Polygonal Identity” provider: A participant’s address is discarded after it’s used to associate the identity with political jurisdictions in 8 map layers:

  • state
  • congressional district
  • state senate district
  • state house district
  • county
  • city
  • city council district
  • unified school district

Never before has an American been able to:

  • participate in politics without exposing a real name and address.
  • participate without attending awful political events.
  • build political influence outside of the 2-party system.

This is especially important for Internet-savvy people who are not necessarily more timid than others, but who have a non-political life and value their privacy. They are precisely the kind of people who are best-equipped to debug the U.S. Operating System.