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Electronic democracy

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  • Jon Louis Mann
    I miss the good old days, too, but I hope Nick will start a page on Facebook for those who don t want to be involved with the other crap on that interface.
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 21, 2011
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      I miss the good old days, too, but I hope Nick will start a page on Facebook for those who don't want to be involved with the other crap on that interface. Sturgeon's Law - 90% of everything is crap, including Science Fiction.

      I was on the Public Electronic Network (PEN) from 1989 to 1992 in Santa Monica.  It was a BBS that was free to the public and was a precursor to what David was writing about in "Earth".

      I immediately realized this was a powerful tool to implement resident input into municipal policy decisions. I started an item to post an invitation to meet at my apartment to discuss the possibilities. David's brother, Daniel, and some teenagers showed up.  I held some parties and decided to see if there was any interest in forming a sort of ad hoc activist group to promote a new kind of municipal participatory democracy in Santa Monica. 

      We named our group the Pen Users Group (PUG).  One of the women offered her apartment as mine was too small to hold everyone, and a fellow named Kevin McKeown showed up.   I was impressed by his apparent knowledge of computers and people hacking skills so I basically let take over, hoping he would be able to implement my vision. 

      I continued with the parties and BBQs, one of which was attended by David, himself on Halloween.  I also encouraged Michael Feinstein, a fellow Green, to run for City Council. He won in a landslide and quickly was elected by the rest of the council to become the Mayor of Santa Monica.

      Unfortunately, to get elected one must solicit contributions and endorsements from special interests. City employees (especially the PD & FD) public and private agencies, the powerful renters right machine (which pretty much determines the majority on the council) as well as developers, tourism, car dealers, hotels, etc.

      I ran in the next election and came in dead last (out of a field of 19), because my platform was to ONLY represent the interests of the residents.

      In the next election, McKeown jumped on Feinstein's coattails and then turned on his sponsor when he wouldn't back him for Mayor. Feinstein was defeated and Bobby Shriver replaced him on the Council. I continue to run on a platform of electronic democracy and am moving up. You can google Jonathan Mann at smartvoter.org.

      > 1. Re: Electronic interface options (Doug Pensinger)
      > Personally, I like this format over FB, and maybe over G+
      > too.  The
      > fan sites have much less a sense of community than this
      > list has (or
      > had).  I use Gmail and it automatically hides quoted
      > text so that's
      > not a big issue (it also has the best spam filter  by
      > far that I've
      > come across).

      > FB is good for friends and family and I've resisted the
      > temptation to
      > compile as many friends as I can, even trimming the list a
      > bit now and
      > then.  I turn all the game stuff off and I don't
      > respond to pokes and
      > all that as I don't really see the point.
      > I think G+ is superior to FB but most of my FB friends
      > haven't
      > transitioned there so I'm stuck with having to follow
      > both.  I have a
      > Brin-l circle on G+ but I only have something like 9 people
      > in it.
      > I'd be interested to know how many of you all are on G+ and
      > in trying
      > that out as a possible successor to the mailing list, but,
      > you know, I
      > really miss the good old days....
      > Doug

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