The Open Government Project is an effort to restore Representative Government to state legislatures, and ultimately, to the Federal Government.
The historic crises we face nationally, and in the States (as well as world-wide), require full citizen participation, conversation and debate if we are to navigate them successfully to a better future. Anything that inhibits this conversation thwarts our ability to solve our problems.
Representative Government is based on the idea of electing representatives to serve in a legislative body to represent their constituents. For this to work, all ideas put forth by the People’s Representatives in bills need to get a fair hearing and a recorded vote so that the People may hold their representatives accountable for their actions.
Believe it or not, most legislative bodies in America do not have representative government as envisioned by our Founders. The heads of the legislative bodies (Speakers, etc.) exercise dictatorial powers to use the rules to kill bills without a fair hearing and a recorded vote. They delegate this same power to committee chairmen. This practice, allowed and encouraged by the rule, results from a systemic flaw that guts the premise of Representative Government.
The purpose of this project is simply to restore a fully functioning, Representative Government of the people, by the people and for the people. Isn’t that supposed to be the real basis for American government?