Open Office Policy
Our Open Office
Have you ever called or written your representative or senator? Ever wonder exactly how much effect it really had? Were you the only person who called, or were there hundreds more? Sure, the staffer might have tallied your call, but was your call really considered by your politician? The truth is stark. First, most of the time you truly have no real idea. Second, like it or not, your politician likes it this way.
When Establishment politicians talk “accountability” and “transparency,” these are often just empty buzzwords. This simple yet novel concept nicknamed “Our Open Office” should be an expectation for representatives going forward.
* Each resident has a real public voice – to comment, vote, debate, and criticize.
* Each constituent will have a way to publicly demand I address their ideas and concerns by submitting bills online
* By incorporating the feedback of specialists in different fields and interests, particularly with the bill submission ability, our office will be far more efficient with better ideas than other districts because our work force will be larger and more specialized. Those “working” outside of my office will be working voluntarily on issues that have the highest priority for them, empowering the individual citizen.
Accountability and Transparency
* All residents can receive a monthly report from my office detailing each house floor vote taken, each bill introduced, and each bill co-sponsored. Feedback from the forum will be summarized into this report. Most importantly, I, the representative, will be forced to outline WHY I voted each way.
* My office’s budget report will be publicized and readily available on the website so citizens can see how their tax dollars were spent.
* Empowering citizens to public discourse and enabling open, visible criticism and dissent of my actions makes me more accountable to the people.
Our Open Office consists of three simple parts. Here is how is works:
The first part is the Online Public Feedback & Debate Forum. Each resident of our district can create a login if they choose. A public moniker is chosen, which can be their real name or nickname by their choice. Comments from registered voters are flagged with an icon to denote their importance. Residents can sign up for email notifications on all issues, or just the issues they care most about.
Each House bill that is coming up for vote will have a webpage denoted for it. Residents can vote for or against bills, and leave comments or debate in the space below. Phone calls received at the office are tallied along with letters on the same page so everyone can see at a glance what the current opinion is.
Residents can also join topic-oriented forums and create debates on subjects they wish to discuss.
Those without internet access may visit the local office to use a terminal, request the current status or dictate comments manually when they call in by phone. Written letters and emails will be shared in the forum if the resident gives permission to share it.
The second part of Our Open Office is monthly reports. Each month a written monthly report will be issued by my office. It will include my position on each House floor vote, each bill co-sponsored, and each bill introduced. Most importantly, it will also include my reasoning so if residents disagree they can understand why. I will refer to the Forum’s public feedback as well, especially if cases occur where I voted in one direction and the Forum’s
opinion was in the opposite direction. The office’s financial budget reports will also
be included in these monthly reports.
The third part of Our Open Office is the online bill submission service. Each resident can exercise their right to petition the government and can suggest new legislation. The only requirements are that the drafter must provide justification for the bill and must either cite one of the powers of Congress in the Constitution or, if revoking a current law or act, its unconstitutionality. Once the resident’s bill proposal is submitted publicly, I am forced to publicly reply. I may either agree to introduce the bill, contact the drafter for more information or modification, submit the bill to the Forum for feedback, or reject the proposal. If rejected, I must disclose why.
The bill submission idea could allow us to multiply our office’s output many times. We may even need to organize ourselves to sell our ideas to citizens in other districts and organizations to get these bills passed, instead of relying on corrupt lobbyists and partisan deal-making.
The vast majority of people in our district are fed up with economic ruin the Establishment has caused with their havoc on economic and civil liberties. Almost everyone believes their representatives are no longer accountable to them, and they are correct. This concept will cure this ill.