Lucas Dailey, Chief Innovation Officer at political social network MyMaryland.net, in Sunlight Foundation’s OpenGov Voices: “The mechanism for citizen interaction with government doesn’t start and end at the ballot box. An essential goal of our fight for greater government openness and transparency is to give citizens’ opinions greater power. For government to be responsive it must have a fast, easy means to understand how constituents feel about any given issues. Ultimately, government itself is a relationship between the institutions that constitute a polity and its citizens.
MyMaryland.net wants to bridge the gap between voters and their representatives because we believe people’s voices matter. MyMaryland.net connects verified Maryland voters with their elected officials in democracy’s first 24/7 online Town Hall.
Participation: a two-sided problem
One of the keys to a vibrant representative democracy is an informed and engaged citizenry. Yet only 10% of Americans contact their elected officials between elections. We can do better by lowering the hurdles to participate and raising the political value of opinions.
…Open Government isn’t just about transparency, it’s also about the ability to take action based on what that transparency allows us to learn. The Open Government movement has helped us learn what government does and how it does it. Now it’s your move.”