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Organizing for America: "A Start-up With the Assets of Google"

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, December 16 2013

OFA's Jon Carson addressing RootsCamp 2013 (Photo by Roshni Karwal)

To hear Jon Carson tell it, Organizing for America, the continuation of President Obama's massive 2012 political machine, was nothing but a one-man shop on January 20, 2013, just him sitting "in a Potbellies restaurant" near the White House charting out its future. Except for one thing. "We were a start-up that inherited the assets of Google." That is, as Carson, OFA's executive director, made clear at an open session last Friday morning at RootsCamp 2013, OFA isn't really a start-up at all, just a new bottle for all the campaign's old wine. And a much smaller bottle at that. For while OFA did inherit digital assets like the @barackobama Twitter account and its massive email list, it had to start from scratch raising money to pay for a staff and figure out what kind of role it could play as a loyal handservant to Obama in a post-campaign setting. Read More

Organizing for Action Tries To Guilt Members Into Donating

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, April 1 2013

President Obama's advocacy group Organizing for Action stepped up its campaign to raise money online last week by blasting the subscribers of its e-mail list at least seven times over the course of five days asking them ... Read More

Organizing for Action Is Ramping Up

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, March 21 2013

Organizing for Action isn't wasting time letting the lessons of 2012 languish. The campaign is ramping up and just sent out a list of positions that it's looking to fill. Among those wanted: e-mail strategists and ... Read More

URL Related to Obama's "Organizing for Action" Now Goes to NRA Website

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, January 29 2013

A Web domain using the name of President Obama's grassroots lobbying group Organizing for Action now points to the National Rifle Association's web site. Derek Bovard, a computer technician in Castle Rock, Colo., registered the domain name organizingforaction.net after seeing a report about the formation of the lobbying group on Fox News last Friday. Bovard, a Republican who voted for Mitt Romney in the last election cycle, says that he bought the domain for $10 and would be willing to part with it for $10,000. Read More

Looking For Organizingforaction.com? Sorry, Domain's Taken

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, January 28 2013

Obama supporters have developed a reputation for being tech savvy, but they may have dropped the ball on this one. Organizing for Action, the advocacy group founded to enable Obama 2012 campaign supporters to lobby ... Read More

"Organizing for Action" Takes Shape, But How Much Power Will Its Volunteers Have?

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, January 22 2013

Picture: Courtesy of Obama Campaign Legacy Conference

"Organizing for Action," the successor organization to Obama for America tasked with pushing the president's agenda, is built on the idea that it can still be greater than the sum of its parts.

With 2.2 million volunteers in 2012 pushing Barack Obama's re-election campaign over the finish line, the promise is certainly there: A nationwide organization, converted from electoral ambitions to policy advocacy, mobilized while the feeling of momentum is still fresh in its members' minds. But while the organization hosted a weekend launch event to kick off "OFA 4.0" — or 3.0 if, like Obama officials, one skips an iteration — it's still unclear how volunteers will tap into the technology infrastructure that helped them to win in November 2012.

The campaign will continue to own all of the campaign infrastructure, a former campaign official told techPresident. If that includes software and data, then Organizing for Action will be leasing from Obama for America access to some of the technology that leveraged the work of those millions of volunteers.

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White House Takes Us Behind The Scenes Of 'We The People' Petition Program

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, March 23 2012

The White House on Thursday released an online video to show the public how it incorporates feedback from its online petitioning tool "We The People," into staffers' policy formulating process. Read More

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In the Philippines, Citizens Go Undercover With Bantay to Monitor Public Offices

The Philippines, a country of almost 100 million, is considered among the most corrupt country in Southeast Asia, despite a boost in Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index in the past few years (from 134th in 2010 to 94th in 2013 out of 175.) Corruption involves all levels of government, but benefits also from a mindset of tolerance, says Happy Feraren, the co-founder of Bantay.ph, an anti-corruption educational initiative that teaches citizens how to monitor the quality of government services, sometimes by going undercover. GO

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NYC Open Data Advocates Focus on Quality And Value Over Quantity

The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications plans to publish more than double the amount of datasets this year than it published to the portal last year, new Commissioner Anne Roest wrote last week in an annual report mandated by the city's open data law, with 135 datasets scheduled to be released this year, and almost 100 more to come in 2015. But as preparations are underway for City Council open data oversight hearings in the fall, what matters more to advocates than the absolute number of the datasets is their quality. GO

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