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

Stephen D. Williams sdw at
Wed Nov 9 10:07:53 PST 2016

Looks like an interesting project and approach.  In addition to this kind of thing, we need some ways to get people from very
different areas and walks of life to get to know each other and to learn from each other.  In a lot of cases, people just don't
understand each other or the complexity of their lives or decisions.  In other cases, people blame their problems and situation on
others, often waiting for someone to rescue them.  In a lot of groups and areas, people could learn to do valuable things, start
their own businesses, or otherwise band together to help each other and themselves.  Creativity, knowledge, management / coaching /
mentoring, and funding and investment could all come from areas and people that are better off on all of those.

I grew up in a tiny town in Ohio.  I'm certain that I could move to any of many small communities in the US and immediately start a
wide range of successful businesses employing a lot of people with a little investment.  I currently am trying to make a bigger
impact than that, but there are many people who could do that kind of thing.

When all of those factory workers were laid off over the years, instead of letting employment run out while they waited for a
similar job to magically appear, they should have been doing whatever it took to get their friends together to do some other work. 
I'm not aware that this happened significantly, and I'm not aware of any group that took serious steps to foster it.  Who is ranking
things we need more manufacturing for?  Who is ranking need vs. training investment and content needed to create new employment in
administrative, technical, and other areas?  Is there a blueprint for a call center or daycare or vocational college like training
that people could step into quickly?  Even if narrowly trained, allowing that cognitive and arbitive potential to languish is a
great waste.  And leads to political gaps.


On 11/9/16 9:22 AM, Steven Clift wrote:
> 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 <mailto: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.
> Thanks,
> 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 <mailto:clift at>  -  +1 612 234 7072 <tel:%2B1%20612%20234%207072>
>    @democracy  - <>
> - My radio app

Stephen D. Williams sdw at stephendwilliams at LinkedIn:
V:650-450-UNIX (8649) V:866.SDW.UNIX V:703.371.9362 F:703.995.0407
AIM:sdw Skype:StephenDWilliams Yahoo:sdwlignet Resume:

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