Americans to initiate thousands of caucus groups across the nation to deliberate in advance of â€œNational Primaryâ€
Sausalito CA, (June 18, 2007) -- To help Americans prepare for the onrush of a de facto â€œNational Primaryâ€ slated for February 5, 2008, when two presidential candidates may suddenly emerge as â€œfinalistsâ€ based on the front-loading of State primaries, a consortium of partisan, bipartisan and non-partisan interests have initiated the first-ever National Presidential Caucus, wherein thousands of local, self-organized, web-enabled, and face-to-face gatherings across the country will convene in caucus on December 7, 2007.
Especially in this critical election cycle, citizens need more and better ways to prepare for the very short, intense official voting period beginning with the Iowa Caucus on January 14, 2008 through whatâ€™s been coined by the media as the â€œNational Primaryâ€ on February 5, 2008. Part mass straw poll, part mass focus group, the National Presidential Caucus will advance discussion and deliberation on the issues and candidates in greater numbers, in greater depth and in person.
The National Presidential Caucus builds on the phenomenon of â€˜03/â€™04 election season where the Internet enabled nearly 5 million self-appointed citizens to organize and participate in tens of thousands of local political â€œMeetupsâ€, Town Halls and House Parties.
â€œIt is a challenge to overstate the importance of who will be chosen as the next U.S. President,â€ said Don Means of Digital Village, Coordinator of the National Presidential Caucus. â€œOur democratic process, as currently practiced, has proven unsatisfactory to the great majority of Americans. Even with hopeful new signs of Internet-enabled participation, our national elections remain essentially poll-driven, mass media campaigns and little more than an ugly spectator sport, though one with enormous stakes.â€
Citizen-led and open, the goals of the National Presidential Caucus are to:
- Help the country better prepare for the vital business of selecting its next president, not in haste, but through 1000â€™s of informed face-to-face discussions and thoughtful deliberations.
- Foster deeper and more meaningful access to the countryâ€™s political system toward the goal of helping revitalize American democracy.
- Create a new voice for those willing to participate in person.
Open Call to Participate
Registration for the National Presidential Caucus is scheduled to officially open on Labor Day at http://www.nationalcaucus.com, followed by a preliminary Straw Poll Caucus on October 26th, 2007. The National Presidential Caucus main event will commence in thousands of cities and small towns on December 7, 2007 across the nation.
Americans everywhere are invited to participate and join the National Presidential Caucus locally by starting or finding a local gathering at http://www.nationalcaucus.com, where they will be able to find support services for organizer registration, searchable group listings, general notifications.
The National Presidential Caucus is open to all civic and political organizations that wish to take part as a special event or as part of their regular activities on the condition that the meeting be publicly accessible.
â€œLocal libraries are especially invited to serve as Caucus venues and help folks engage in important civic deliberations,â€ said Don Means. â€œInternet-enabled Libraries would be ideal for supporting registrations and for posting Caucus results and uploading pictures, blog posts and even video clips from the meetings.â€
The National Presidential Caucus also encourages participants to use any and all web services to ensure a successful caucus, including Meetup, Facebook, MySpace and other web-based meeting & social organizing tools, as well as YouTube, the recommended online video platform for the initiative.
The National Presidential Caucus invites the support of groups and individuals like Politics Online, Stanford University's Center for Deliberative Democracy, University of Virginia's Center for Politics, Democracy for America, Unity '08, The National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation, and others.
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