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[liberationtech] Would you be willing to create an online townhall for your city? Bring Americans together local-up?

Steven Clift clift at
Wed Nov 9 09:22:08 PST 2016

OK, that was quite the night.

We talk about how social media has been used as a wedge in this
campaign to divide our country. Can we use it top-down nationally to
bring us together across those divides? I say no - the most partisan
will drive the 80% in the middle away and cause us to stick to our
filter bubbles.

All across this country via Facebook Groups, NextDoor, and other
platforms people are organically connecting with their nearest
neighbors to find lost pets, talk about crime, and swap free stuff.
And sometimes people have very dynamic discussions online about their
most local community with -gasp- people who live near them but hold
very different political views and are not their online "friends."

On social media, these local online groups breakthrough the filter
bubble and bridge political divides at the sub-partisan level where
the common interest trumps partisan politics.

The question is this - can we bump this up to the *city-wide* level
and create online civic spaces that connect people across differences?

Local democratically inspired spaces that are useful, agenda-setting,
open, inclusive around the nation? And do it via highly accessible and
popular Facebook Groups?

By inclusive, I mean in many ways ... including local conservatives,
immigrants, and more ... such that the space reflects the full
community and not just the most involved community folks.

The ten of thousands of neighborhood Facebook Groups start with a
spark, an "admin" who creates the group and spreads the word.

Now what about you and your city? Will you step forward for your city
to convene a Facebook Group for your community?

If yes, let me know: clift at

If there are at least ten of you, then we can launch a movement that
just might spread to hundreds, then thousands of cities.

Steven Clift

P.S. What I am essentially asking is if you want to help me convert
E-Democracy's twenty years of succesful but isolated experiences with
the online townhall - - for the
Facebook-era. Our model ONLY works with a local person willing to
bring people together so collectively the community can not only raise
its voice, it creates the digital capacity to listen to and respect
each other. And not through hands-off "make it easy technology," but
hands on effective facilitation and passionate community outreach.

Steven Clift  -  Executive Director,
   clift at  -  +1 612 234 7072
   @democracy  - - My radio app
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