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Vote early, promote often: Ideas for Change and Get FISA Right

The second round of voting in change.org’s Ideas for Change in America competition kicked off today.  Please vote for Get FISA Right, repeal the PATRIOT Act, and restore our civil liberties — and help promote it!

To vote, just click on the Vote here button on the widget on the right.  (If your vote doesn’t register, you may need to log in or sign up first.)

There are a lot of ways you can help promote the idea — see the list on our wiki.  A few ways to get started:

  1. Email the link to your friends and listservs.
  2. Post it to your profile and share it on Facebook or MySpace
  3. If you’re a blogger, write up a post on it and include the code for the widget (available here).  Then sign up as an “endorser” (the link’s on the right-hand side of the change.org page)
  4. As other bloggers to mention our idea and sign up as supporters

We’re having a conference call to discuss promotion on Tuesday, January 6, at 5 PM Pacific/8 PM Eastern.  Please RSVP on Facebook or MyBO if you’re interested!

Stay tuned for more!

jon

PS: and if you’ve got other ideas for promotion, please mention them in the comments

PPS: please also consider voting for Pierre Loiselle’s Repeal the Patriot Act idea.  If we decide to combine the ideas later, you can always change your vote …

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On to the second round of “Ideas for Change in America”!

Also posted on the new Get FISA Right blog

Happy new year!

My idea Get FISA Right, repeal the PATRIOT Act, and restore our civil liberties finished #2 in the Criminal Justice category of change.org/MySpace’s Ideas for Change in America competition, and so has advanced to the second round.

We can revise the idea over the next couple of days (suggestions please!) and then second-round voting runs from January 5 to January 15.  We’ll be promoting it actively, of course.  There’ll be a press conference on January 16 to introduce the top 10, change.org will work with each of them to help build and promote national advocacy campaigns.  With change.org’s 200,000 members, proven ability to attack media attention, and a great list of partners for Ideas for Change in America, it’s a great opportunity …

And some really tough competition.

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Ideas for Change in America: heading into the homestretch

Executive summary

  • things are still in flux in the change.org/MySpace Ideas for Change in America as we head into the last week of the first round
  • civil liberties (six ideas), drug reform (five ideas), and education (five ideas) dominate the top 30
  • my idea, Get FISA Right, repeal the PATRIOT Act, and restore our civil liberties, hanging tough at #5 overall, #2 in Criminal Justice
  • there are a lot of duplicate ideas, for example multiple variants of legalization.  How will change.org deal with this going forward?

The current top 10 is in the first comment for those who don’t care about the analysis.

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“President Obama, please get FISA right” approved by Comcast

Get FISA Right’s cable TV ad for the inauguration has been approved by Comcast — almost two weeks sooner than we had estimated!  So now it’s time for grassroots fundraising to put it on the air – in Washington DC, and potentially all around the country.

The ad addresses President Obama directly, congratulating him on his victory and letting him know that we want to work with him to restore the Constitution and the rule of law.  The ad’s also for a couple of other audiences: our 23,000 members, most of whom we’ve lost touch with; and the media and politicians in Washington DC.  The underlying message is the same: this issue isn’t going away, and neither are we.

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Photos wanted for the Get FISA Right “inauguration ad”

Were you one of the 23,000 Obama supporters who got together on my.barackobama.com last July to protest his stance on FISA?  If so, we’d like to include your photo in a cable TV ad we’re working on with SaysMe.tv that we’ll be broadcasting in Washington DC for the inauguration.  Here’s the script:

Even though we disagreed with your position on FISA last July, we worked for your election victory and are excited to be part of the change you’re bringing to Washington.  We’re ready to help, and look forward to working with you to restore our Constitution and the rule of law.

Congratulations, President Obama.  Please … get FISA right.

If you’d like to have your photo in the ad, please email it to matt { at } saysme { dot } tv by 4 PM (Pacific time) on Thursday, December 18.

Please understand that by submitting your picture you agree to have yourself represented on TV — and please do NOT submit a photo if you don’t want to have it used in the TV ad.

Thanks!

jon

Update:, December 23: we took the rough cut video down from YouTube so I removed it from this post

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Get FISA Right: quick update

Executive Summary

Details

Even though it’s the holiday season, it seems like the group’s energy is really starting to ramp up after the election, so I just wanted to take a moment to update people on what’s happening.  I realize that our communications are very, um, challenging right now and appreciate everybody’s forbearance.  One of the important things going on is a plan for improved communications in 2009; please have a look and see what you think!

Our short-term priorities are the Ideas for Change competition, working with SaysMe.tv on our next round of cable TV ads, and continuing our 2009 strategy planning.   And there a bunch of civil liberties questions on change.gov’s new Open for Questions, including a FISA-related idea with a great backstory.

Read on for more …

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Get FISA Right: Proposed 2009 strategy

After discussions with people in Get FISA Right as well as others (including EFF, ACLU, privacy advocates, and journalists), I’ve put together a proposal for a 2009 Strategy.  There’s also a Strategy Backgrounder, with a brief history, and a discussion of our strengths and challenges — as well as challenges for the anti-FISA forces in general.

This is the first published draft, so it’s far from final.  Feedback, suggestions, criticisms, all very welcome!  There’s a thread on the wiki here; replies to to this post are welcome too.

A quick overview:

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Three important posts on techPresident

techPresident logo

techPresident continues its recent roll, with three very worthwhile posts.

Micah Sifry’s The Other Transition: Whither Obama’s Movement? contrasts the transparency of change.gov and the transition in DC with the top-down and relatively closed nature (so far) of the discussions about the future for the organizers network and my.barackobama.com.  Excellent comments from folks like Wade Hudson and Jennifer Just are worth reading as well … I’ll probably weigh in too once I think about it a little more.  Micah also briefly mentions Get FISA Right, including us in his (short) list of groups continuing to do MyBO activism.

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Get FISA Right: Proposed 2009 communication channels

In response to the consistent feedback that we need to simplify our communications mechanisms, there’s a proposal up on the wiki.  A summary:

  • to stay informed:
    • check the website/blog at getfisaright.net
    • OR get action alerts and daily(ish) newsletters on any one of the channels listed in the “Broadcasts” section below (email, RSS, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
  • for discussions: use the discussion forum on the wiki — anonymous participation okay (until we get overrun by trolls)
  • for more active organizing and collaboration: join the wiki

More details on the wiki page.

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FISA: How will the Obama administration respond on immunity?

Justice Department attorney Carl Nichols didn’t get through his first full sentence defending the constitutionality of retroactive immunity for spying telecom carriers before U.S. district judge Vaughn Walker interrupted to ask about President-elect Barack Obama.

“We are going to have new attorney general,” Walker interjected in Tuesday morning’s hearing in a San Francisco courthouse. “Why shouldn’t the court wait to see what the new attorney general will do?”

— Ryan Singel, Obama Will Fight For Wiretap Immunity, Bush Lawyer Tells Judge, Wired’s Threat Level

Unsurprisingly, Nichols did his job and responded by saying that the Obama administration would defend the constitutionality of the statute, noting that “The Department of Justice rarely, if ever, declines to defend the constitutionality of a statute.”   Well, yeah, he would say that, wouldn’t he?

In reality, it’s very difficult to predict how the new administration will react.  Prominent Catholic Obama supporter Douglas Kmeic, quoted in Carol Williams’ LA Times article, describes the tensions:

“They would want to get rid of these cases, to move on,” Pepperdine University law professor Douglas W. Kmiec said of the incoming administration. “But I also think there will be a proper impulse within the Obama Justice Department to get the law right. It’s one thing to have a clean worktable, and another to have a clean worktable where the laws have been brushed to the floor and all lie broken and scattered.”

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change.org/MySpace “Ideas for Change in America” top 20

Updated info available at the top ideas list on the change.org site

Ideas for Change in America is a citizen-driven project that aims to identify and create momentum around the best ideas for how the Obama Administration and 111th Congress can turn the broad call for “change” across the country into specific policies….

The top 10 rated ideas will be presented to the Obama Administration on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2009 as the “Top 10 Ideas for America.” We will then launch a national campaign behind each idea and mobilize the collective energy of the millions of members of Change.org, MySpace, and partner organizations to ensure that each winning idea gets the full consideration of the Obama Administration and Members of Congress….

The Ideas for Change in America FAQ

A week after the official launch of the site, and with a month to go until the first round of voting ends, it’s still early days for the contest … but as any sports fan knows, you don’t have to the wait until the playoffs to start watching the standings!

The top three ideas in each category advance to the second round, and the site makes it easy to see who’s leading in each category — for example, the Criminal Justice page currently has Jose Torres’ Legalise the Medicinal and Recreational Use of Marijuana in the #1 position,* followed by my Get FISA Right, repeal the PATRIOT Act, and restore our civil liberties and Paul Lange’s Fair Investigations of Bush Administration, with change.org blogger Matt Kelley’s Provide Alternatives to Incarceration only a few votes out of the top 3.

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Get FISA Right and Change.org’s Ideas site: Rupert Murdoch as civil rights sugar daddy?

Nancy Scola’s Ideas for Change, and a Roadmap in techPresident’s “Daily Digest” discusses Change.org’s Ideas for Change in America:

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.

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