America deserves a Congress that respects the priorities of the people it serves. Sadly, they folks in Washington haven’t been listening to us all that much. America Speaking Out is your new opportunity to be heard. The hope is that this will bring about change in the way Congress works by having the citizens propose ideas for a new policy agenda. It doesn’t matter if you are a Democrat, a Republican or have no party affiliation at all. This site was create in the hopes that it will foster better communication between the U.S. government and the people of our country.
The GOP teamed up with Microsoft to develop the site. It will allow people to log on anytime they choose. There, you’ll be able to talk, blog or tweet about the issues that matter most to you, and let the Republicans know what the biggest priorities should be. California Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy gave CNN an exclusive sneak peek at the site. “This is a new townhall mechanism — never used before. To me it’s revolutionary, because it allows the individual to have greater control and say. For too long, people think nobody in Washington listens to them. This starts listening across the country and lets them provide the idea, but also debate the idea,” McCarthy said.
You can log on to the site and create a profile to participate, choosing any name you would like to use (it doesn’t have to be your real name). You will have to confirm your zip code and email address. There will also be filters in place to block out offensive language and hate speech. Beyond that, you can be as anonymous as you like while interacting with the service.
The site is organized by different subjects. If you choose to click on “Fiscal accountability,” you will see headings under there for several more branches, including “waste,” “tax reform,” “budget process,” and “long term debt.” Other broad topics found on America Speaking Out covers everything from national security to the prosperity of Americans.
Within each section, users can submit a policy proposal, respond to the ideas others have submitted or debate specific proposals. Next to each topic, users can click on a Facebook or Twitter icon to take the discussion with them to their favorite social network. Also next to every idea posted, users can vote and idea up or down, much like the “like” feature found on Facebook. Sort proposals to read through by how popular they are to find out what other Americans are passionate about.
While this website may not change the world, I do feel it is a giant step in the right direction. What are your thoughts? Will you participate in the discussions?