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Organizing for America

After the 2008 presidential election, the Obama for America political machine that carried Barack Obama to the White House went through its own transition, eventually emerging as a semi-independent arm of the Democratic National Committee called "Organizing for America." Many people thought OFA would be Obama's secret weapon, an internet-powered grassroots army that could push Members of Congress from below while Obama used the more traditional bully-pulpit powers of the presidency. The reality, as we all know now, was a lot more complicated.

Respect, Empower, Include, Unfriend? The Story of One Disillusioned Obama Organizer [UPDATED]

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, January 6 2010

Marta Evry is a 45-year-old film editor who works on television shows and movies in Hollywood. She took off six months in 2008 to volunteer full time on the Obama campaign, ultimately working as a Regional Field ... Read More

The Obama Disconnect: What Could Have Been?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Sunday, January 3 2010

One question that a number of people have raised in response to my post on The Obama Disconnect is essentially, "What's your alternative? What should the Obama team have done to keep the new political movement it had ... Read More

The Obama Disconnect: What Happens When Myth Meets Reality

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, December 31 2009

"Collectively all of you, most of you whom are, I'm not sure, of drinking age, you've created the best political organization in America, and probably the best political organization that we've seen in the last 30, 40 ... Read More

Daily Digest | Inside Organizing for America's Ground Game

BY Editors | Friday, July 31 2009

Faces of Health Care Reform: Inside Organizing for America's Ground Game Last week, we floated the idea that what Organizing for America was doing in collecting personal health care narratives from supporters amounted ... Read More

Organizing for America in "Every County, Every Precinct, Every Block, Every Neighborhood"

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, April 27 2009

Jeremy Bird, the deputy director of Organizing for America, was back in South Carolina for the Democratic party state convention. Read More

CNN Coverage of Organizing for America: "President Obama's Grassroots Army"

BY | Friday, March 27 2009

Today on the Situation Room, CNN aired a segment on Organizing for America and volunteers' recent efforts to build support for the President's budget, as all the work being done to harness the energy of the largest ... Read More

Organizing for America Launches; Structure TBD

BY Micah L. Sifry | Saturday, January 17 2009

If you're on the Obama campaign email list, by now you've probably received a message alerting you to a special message from President-elect Barack Obama announcing the formation of "Organizing for America," the ... Read More

OFA 2.0 Still A Work in (Hidden) Progress

BY Micah L. Sifry | Sunday, December 14 2008

More than two-thirds of the 500,000 Obama volunteers who responded to an online survey asking about their interest in future activities in the wake of their involvement with the campaign responded that they "would like ... Read More

"Whoa! It's Not Over Yet!": Getting Ready for "The Organizing of the President" Chicago, 7pm Tonight at DePaul Univ.

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, November 6 2008

I'm still mulling what I'm going to say tonight at "The Organizing of the President," but here are two hints. First, let me recycle this long Obama quote from the post I did earlier this year on "Obama's Organization, ... Read More

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The Rise and Fall of Iran's “Blogestan”

The robust community of Iranian bloggers—sometimes nicknamed “Blogestan”—has shrunk since its heyday between 2002 – 2010. “Whither Blogestan,” a recent report from the University of Pennsylvania's Iran Media Program sought to find out how and why. The researchers performed a web crawling analysis of Blogestan, survey 165 Persian blog users, and conducted 20 interviews with influential bloggers in the Persian community. They found multiple causes of the decline in blogging, including increased social media use and interference from authorities.

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tuesday >

Weekly Readings: What the Govt Wants to Know

A roundup of interesting reads and stories from around the web. GO

Russia to Treat Bloggers Like Mass Media Because "the F*cking Journalists Won't Stop Writing"

The worldwide debate over who is and who isn't a journalist has raged since digital media made it much easier for citizen journalists and other “amateurs” to compete with the big guys. In the United States, journalists are entitled to certain protections under the law, such as the right to confidential sources. As such, many argue that blogging should qualify as journalism because independent writers deserve the same legal protections as corporate employees. In Russia, however, earning a place equal to mass media means additional regulations and obligations, which some say will lead to the repression of free speech.

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Politics for People: Demanding Transparent and Ethical Lobbying in the EU

Today the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) launched a campaign called Politics for People that asks candidates for the European Parliament to pledge to stand up to secretive industry lobbyists and to advocate for transparency. The Politics for People website connects voters with information about their MEP candidates and encourages them to reach out on Facebook, Twitter or by email to ask them to sign the pledge.

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monday >

Security Agencies Given Full Access to Telecom Data Even Though "All Lebanese Can Not Be Suspects"

In late March, Lebanese government ministers granted security agencies unrestricted access to telecommunications data in spite of some ministers objections that it violates privacy rights. Global Voices reports that the policy violates Lebanon's existing surveillance and privacy law, Law 140, but has gotten little coverage from the country's mainstream media.

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friday >

In Google Hangout, NYC Mayor de Blasio Talks Tech and Outer Borough Potential

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio followed the lead of President Obama and New York City Council member Ben Kallos Friday by participating in a Google Hangout to help mark his first 100 days in office, in which the conversation focused on expanding access to technology opportunities through education and ensuring that the needs of the so-called "outer boroughs" aren't overlooked. GO

thursday >

In Pakistan, A Hypocritical Gov't Ignores Calls To End YouTube Ban

YouTube has been blocked in Pakistan by executive order since September 2012, after the “blasphemous” video Innocence of Muslims started riots in the Middle East. Since then, civil society organizations and Internet rights advocacy groups like Bolo Bhi and Bytes for All have been working to lift the ban. Last August the return of YouTube seemed imminent—the then-new IT Minister Anusha Rehman spoke optimistically and her party, which had won the majority a few months before, was said to be “seriously contemplating” ending the ban. And yet since then, Rehman and her party, the conservative Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), have done everything in their power to maintain the status quo.

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The #NotABugSplat Campaign Aims to Give Drone Operators Pause Before They Strike

In the #NotABugSplat campaign that launched this week, a group of American, French and Pakistani artists sought to raise awareness of the effects of drone strikes by placing a field-sized image of a young girl, orphaned when a drone strike killed her family, in a heavily targeted region of Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province. Its giant size is visible to those who operate drone strikes as well as in satellite imagery. GO

Boston and Cambridge Move Towards More Open Data

The Boston City Council is now considering an ordinance which would require Boston city agencies and departments to make government data available online using open standards. Boston City Councilor At Large Michelle Wu, who introduced the legislation Wednesday, officially announced her proposal Monday, the same day Boston Mayor Martin Walsh issued an executive order establishing an open data policy under which all city departments are directed to publish appropriate data sets under established accessibility, API and format standards. GO

YouTube Still Blocked In Turkey, Even After Courts Rule It Violates Human Rights, Infringes on Free Speech

Reuters reports that even after a Turkish court ruled to lift the ban on YouTube, Turkey's telecommunications companies continue to block the video sharing site.

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wednesday >

Everything You Need to Know About Social Media and India's General Election

The biggest democratic election in the world to date is taking place in India from April 7 to May 14, and, for the first time in India, the results might hinge on who runs a better social media campaign. The Mumbai research firm Iris Knowledge Foundation has said that Facebook will “wield a tremendous influence” but Indian politicians are not limiting their attentions to India's most popular social media platform. In addition to virtual campaigning are initiatives to inform, educate and encourage Indians to participate in their democracy.

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