Happy Birthday, We the People! Marking Three Years of Online Petitions

On September 22, 2011, we launched We the People to give Americans a new way to petition their government around issues they care about. It works like this: Start a petition, get enough signatures, and the Obama administration will work with policy experts to issue an official response.
It’s three years later, and We the People remains incredibly popular: More than 15 million users have participated, collecting more than 22 million signatures on more than 360,000 petitions. To date, we’ve issued nearly 250 responses to petitions on a wide range of topics, including maintaining an open and innovative internet, reducing student loan debt, improving our economy, and even building a “Death Star.”
The We the People platform has led directly to policy changes and provided new opportunities for dialogue between citizens and their government. That’s part of the reason why, over the course of 2014, an average of response surveys showed a majority of signers thought it was “helpful to hear the Administration’s response,” even if they didn’t agree. Nearly 80 percent said they would use We the People again.
To celebrate We the People’s third birthday, the White House will host the first-ever social meetup for We the People users and petition creators right here at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It will be an exciting chance for users to meet with policy experts and connect with each other in person.
Meanwhile, we continue to work to make We the People even more accessible so that people — no matter where they are on the internet — can use the platform to reach the White House. Beginning in October, third-party websites can submit signatures to We the People on behalf of their own signers, using our soon-to-be-released Write API (which is currently in beta). It’s the result of months of hard work, and we can’t wait to share it with the public.
Check out the infographic below, and take a look at some of the platform’s highlights over the last three years…”