The social-action hub has just announced that the project now has the backing of MySpace and a broad coalition of supporting partners, including techPresident, the Sunlight Foundation, Netroots Nation, VotoLatino, GOOD Magazine, Change Congress, Campus Progress, and People for the America Way…. once the top ten ideas are identified, “we will then build a national campaign to advance each idea in Congress, marshaling the resources of Change.org, MySpace, and our dozens of partner organizations and millions of combined members.”
Sounds intriguing. It’s hard to know just what the “national campaign” will look like, but these are certainly great groups to be partnering with. If Get FISA Right (and all the other pro-civil liberties groups out there) can get our act together and Get FISA Right, repeal the PATRIOT Act, and restore our civil liberties is one of their top 10, then we’ll recruit some significant allies. Seems worth a try.
Currently, we’re tied for eighth with 50 votes.* This is pretty impressive, actually; the “featured ideas” on the main page have submissions from Jay Rosen (co-founder of Off the Bus), Craig Newmark (of Craigslist), and David Sirota, so there’s stiff competition. The current #1 is Pass Marriage Equality Rights for LGBT couples nationwide, submitted by Jen Nadeau of change.org’s Women’s Rights blog.
Looking forward, the FAQ says:
How are the top ideas determined?
The top ideas in each cause are determined through two rounds of voting. The first round will end on December 31, 2008. The second round of voting will begin on Monday, January 5 and will be limited to the top 3 ideas in each category that received the most votes in the first round. Second round voting ends on Thursday, January 15.
There isn’t a category for civil liberties, so we’re in the Criminal Justice category. We’re currently tied for second with Provide Alternatives to Incarceration (submitted by Matt Kelley of The Innocence Project, who’s change.org’s Criminal Justice blogger), trailing activist Jose Torres’ Legalise the Medicinal and Recreational Use of Marijuana.** Finishing the year in the top three seems achievable.
We can increase our chances in several ways: spreading the word virally (in email, on Facebook), blogging about it (and mentioning it in comment threads of relevant blogging posts), and asking other organizations who believe it’s a good idea to forward the link to their members.
So please, if this is something you think should be one of the administration’s priorities — or if you just like the idea of Rupert Murdoch and Fox a civil liberties activism campaign — vote it up, and spread the word!
* The top-rated ideas are a little hard to find, actually — they’re well below the fold on the right-hand side of the Ideas page, below the partners and “browse by category”. The “featured ideas”, presumably chosen by change.org’s staff, are displayed much more prominently.
** Unsurprisingly, there also are a couple of other legalization ideas in the top ten. Insert stoner joke here.