August 24, 2005

Micah Sifry Invites You to Participate in Supporting Andrew Rasiej

Updated: the call is now at 12:30 pm EST instead of 1pm EST.

...with this conference call for bloggers about Andrew Rasiej, who is running for Public Advocate in NYC:

Subject: Barlow, Dyson, Hodder, Michalski, Newmark, Searls, Sifry, Trippi, Vos and Weinberger invite you to meet Andrew Rasiej
Date: August 24, 2005 2:37:37 PM EDT

Dear friend:

When someone who understands the democratizing forces of technologies like social networking, blogging, and p2p decides to enter the world of politics to shake things up, we should take heed and add our voices.

That's why we're writing you about Andrew Rasiej, candidate for New York City Public Advocate, and inviting you to join a national bloggers conference call next Tuesday August 30 from noon to 1:00pm EST to meet him and find out more.

At first glance, you're probably thinking, "Why should I pay attention to this race? It's not even the most powerful office in New York."

But Andrew is running to prove that the power of networked politics is real and can fundamentally alter not just campaigns, but also how citizens and elected officials engage in civic life and the results they achieve. It just so happens that the office of Public Advocate, which is the number-two elected position in the city, is perfect for this.

The Public Advocate has the power to introduce legislation, conduct investigations, and chairs an important--though neglected--commission on open public information. But the office is really only limited by its holder's imagination and ability to organize people and focus attention where it needs to be focused.

Andrew is also a candidate of new ideas, and here are his three most important proposals:

1. To make America's largest city a Wi-Fi hotzone, and to help close the digital divide by creating a low-cost, high-speed wireless mesh network for everyone in the city.
2. To use the ideas behind open-source and peer-to-peer networks to reinvent the Public Advocate's office, and turn it from being one person's modest soapbox into a sounding board, connecting hub and amplifying megaphone for all the people in the city.
3. To use technology to make city government more open, transparent and accountable.

Andrew's getting attention for his innovative and common-sense approach, as these articles by Thomas Friedman,
David Kirkpatrick,
and Stowe Boyd show. Joe Trippi says, "Andrew worked with me on the Dean campaign and I can honestly say that this is a brilliant man who can have a positive, real effect on New York City."

Moreover, Andrew's not just a idea guy; he has a track record of getting things done. From starting the rock club Irving Plaza to founding, an education nonprofit that has trained thousands of NYC students to be their schools' own technologists, to advising top Democrats like Tom Daschle, Dick Gephardt and Howard Dean, to starting the Personal Democracy Forum—he is a doer, not just a talker.

You may not agree with everything he has to say, but we urge you to give him a listen—and we're sure he'll give you a listen, too. The conventional wisdom says he's a long-shot, but political change has to start somewhere.

To take part in the conference call, please RSVP to (hit reply) and you will be sent the call-in information. Feel free to share this invite widely.


John Perry Barlow
Esther Dyson
Mary Hodder
Jerry Michalski
Craig Newmark
Doc Searls
Dave Sifry
Joe Trippi
Esme Vos
David Weinberger

p.s. While Andrew is running in the Democratic primary, what he represents ought to inspire Republicans, independents and creative thinkers of all stripes. As Phil Windley, the former CIO of the state of Utah and a Republican, recently wrote, "If we are not willing to support (vote and donate) to people who understand technology and what powers innovation, then we'll get the nation we deserve."

Advocates for Rasiej

Posted by Mary Hodder at August 24, 2005 01:22 PM | TrackBack