National Presidential Caucus Set for December 7, 2007
Americans to initiate thousands of caucus groups across the nation to deliberate in advance of “National Primary”
Sausalito CA, (June 18, 2007) — To help Americans prepare for the onrush of a de facto “National Primary” slated for February 5, 2008, when two presidential candidates may suddenly emerge as “finalists” based on the front-loading of State primaries, a consortium of partisan, bipartisan and non-partisan interests have initiated the first-ever National Presidential Caucus, wherein thousands of local, self-organized, web-enabled, and face-to-face gatherings across the country will convene in caucus on December 7, 2007.
Especially in this critical election cycle, citizens need more and better ways to prepare for the very short, intense official voting period beginning with the Iowa Caucus on January 14, 2008 through what’s been coined by the media as the “National Primary” on February 5, 2008. Part mass straw poll, part mass focus group, the National Presidential Caucus will advance discussion and deliberation on the issues and candidates in greater numbers, in greater depth and in person.
The National Presidential Caucus builds on the phenomenon of ‘03/’04 election season where the Internet enabled nearly 5 million self-appointed citizens to organize and participate in tens of thousands of local political “Meetups”, Town Halls and House Parties.
“It is a challenge to overstate the importance of who will be chosen as the next U.S. President,” said Don Means of Digital Village, Coordinator of the National Presidential Caucus. “Our democratic process, as currently practiced, has proven unsatisfactory to the great majority of Americans. Even with hopeful new signs of Internet-enabled participation, our national elections remain essentially poll-driven, mass media campaigns and little more than an ugly spectator sport, though one with enormous stakes.”
Citizen-led and open, the goals of the National Presidential Caucus are to:
Registration for the National Presidential Caucus is scheduled to officially open on Labor Day at http://www.nationalcaucus.com, followed by a preliminary Straw Poll Caucus on October 26th, 2007. The National Presidential Caucus main event will commence in thousands of cities and small towns on December 7, 2007 across the nation.
Americans everywhere are invited to participate and join the National Presidential Caucus locally by starting or finding a local gathering at http://www.nationalcaucus.com, where they will be able to find support services for organizer registration, searchable group listings, general notifications.
The National Presidential Caucus is open to all civic and political organizations that wish to take part as a special event or as part of their regular activities on the condition that the meeting be publicly accessible.
“Local libraries are especially invited to serve as Caucus venues and help folks engage in important civic deliberations,” said Don Means. “Internet-enabled Libraries would be ideal for supporting registrations and for posting Caucus results and uploading pictures, blog posts and even video clips from the meetings.”
The National Presidential Caucus also encourages participants to use any and all web services to ensure a successful caucus, including Meetup, Facebook, MySpace and other web-based meeting & social organizing tools, as well as YouTube, the recommended online video platform for the initiative.
The National Presidential Caucus invites the support of groups and individuals like Politics Online, Stanford University’s Center for Deliberative Democracy, University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, Democracy for America, Unity ‘08, The National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation, and others.
Myles Weissleder, for the National Presidential Caucus
myles [at] mylermedia.com // 415-332-3205
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reprinted from http://www.nationalcaucus.com/whatsnpc/#time (08/22/07)
About us | Who We Are | Endorsements | What is a NPC Caucus? | Goals | Timeline
Our democratic process, as currently practiced, has proven unsatisfactory to the great majority of Americans. Even with hopeful new signs of internet enabled participation, our national elections remain essentially poll-driven, mass media campaigns and little more than an ugly spectator sport, though one with enormous stakes. Now, with nearly no opportunity for input by ordinary citizens, the presidential state primaries and caucuses are being scheduled earlier and closer together, dramatically altering the primary election process. The country now faces a de facto National Primary on February 5, 2008, in which two “finalists” may suddenly emerge from this “rush to judgment” only to commence a protracted 9-month general campaign.
In response, a consortium of partisan, bi-partisan and non-partisan interests have initiated the National Presidential Caucus with an “Open Call to Participate” in local, self-organized, web-enabled face to face gatherings across the country on December 7, 2007 in preparation for the highly compressed national primary process.
Who we are:
Don Means, Digital Village, Event Coordinator
Howard Rheingold, Author, Smart Mobs
Mike Turk, E-Campaign Director, Bush/Cheney ‘04
Phil Noble, Founder, Politics Online
James Fishkin, Director, Center for Deliberative Democracy
Stanford University’s Center for Deliberative Democracy
University of Virginia’s Center for Politics
Democracy for America
The National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation
American’s For Campaign Finance Reform
Endorsements (see full endorsements):
Warren Rudman, Former U.S. Senator (R-NH), Co-Chair, Americans for Campaign
Bill Bradley, Former U.S. Senator (D-NJ), Co-Chair, Americans for Campaign Finance Reform
Tim Draper, Founder, Managing Director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson
Phil Noble, Founder, Politics Online
James Fishkin, Director, Stanford University’s Center for Deliberative Democracy
Howard Rheingold, Author, “Smart Mobs”
Dr. Larry J. Sabato, Director, Center for Politics, Univ. of Virginia
Peverill Squire, Professor, Political Science, University of Iowa
Doug Bailey, CEO, Unity ’08
Jim Dean, Chair of Democracy for America
Carol Darr, Director, GW’s Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet
Bob Fertik, President of Democrats.com
What is a NPC Caucus?
NPC Caucuses are 2-hour meetings anytime between 3pm and 8pm local time on National Caucus Day. Organizers facilitate a discussion round where participants may each speak to their most important issues and to establish a group consensus on the top 2-3 issues for that caucus. Then, a second round of discussion to express candidate preferences. The organizer then posts the results at www.NationalCaucus.com for aggregation and general reporting.
A Preliminary “Straw Poll” Caucus on October 26 to refine National Caucus
rules and allow for feedback and improvements to the process. The National
Presidential Caucus on December 7, 2007.