August 4, 2009

Whitehouse.gov Is a Good Start…but Don’t Wait….Initiate

It has already been eight months since Barack Obama won the Presidential election. On that November evening the enormous crowd that had gathered at Grant Park in Chicago listened with anticipation to hear the victory speech of the President Elect. One of the most noteworthy lines of his speech was when he exclaimed: “Tonight, because of what we did on this day in this election at this defining moment, change has come to America.”

This is exactly what his fervent supporters wanted to hear.

Candidate Obama had promised this many times during the campaign. He promised to bring about real change – social and economic. He promised that there would be a “new kind of government”- open and transparent. A government that would be accessible by and accountable to all the people.

Has our new President kept his campaign promises?

The answer could be a simple mouse click away by going to the official website of the White House www.whitehouse.gov. This website provides information to the public regarding legislation, open government initiatives and provides a link the Recovery.org website which enables the public to track the stimulus spending. People can also use this resource to contact the White House, learn about The Cabinet, read about upcoming tours and events and review the White House Blog.

In the Washington Post article Grading Whitehouse.gov, Round Two five people from various political and cultural backgrounds graded the site. The overall grades varied from C to A- with the average being a B.

While this may be an interesting exercise (and maybe a bit pretentious) it was also very predictable. It was no surprise that a gentleman who was an early Obama Supporter gave Whitehouse.gov the highest grade – an A- while another gentleman who worked for President Bush gave the site a C.

But this is where political bias should be set aside. We should consider it our obligation to express our thoughts to the government and implore them to implement the changes necessary to improve the country. When people utilize a site like Whitehouse.gov it sends a clear message to the government that people are engaged in the political process, eager to get learn more and are hungry for results.

But let’s not be misled. Real change doesn’t come that easily. Sending a comment or suggestion to a government website is fine but that should just be the start. We cannot sit idly by expecting change to just happen.

As President Obama stated during the campaign: “Real change doesn’t happen from the top down it happens from the bottom up”.

The people need to be as diligent as they are diverse in voicing their opinions, bringing their concerns to the forefront and taking action. Simply said: Let the government know that you’re paying attention but don’t wait….initiate.

Be the catalyst to make change happen.

The Literacy ‘n’ Poverty Project (LnP) is a great example. By working to alleviate poverty and improving adult education worldwide this startup is using the “bottom up” approach to bring about real change to affect people in a positive way. By bringing together people of different backgrounds in their on-line community, LnP puts people in an environment to form a real movement for social change.



This post was written by Robert Connor, Sr. IT Manager for Giorgio Armani Corp and formerly a Computer Consultant for companies such as Anne Klein II, Donna Karan & Chanel Cosmetics. Robert is a volunteer blogger with the Literacy 'n' Poverty Project. Please leave your comments or email info@makesocialchangeareality.com with questions.

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