The White House today announced “We the People,” an online petition portal that lets citizens create grassroots campaigns on issues important to them and – if they can get enough support – receive an official response from an Obama Administration policy expert or President Obama himself.
“When I ran for this office, I pledged to make government more open and accountable to its citizens,” Obama said on the site. “That’s what the new We the People feature on WhiteHouse.gov is all about – giving Americans a direct line to the White House on the issues and concerns that matter most to them.”
How it works: Anyone 13 or older can create a petition on WhiteHouse.gov and gather like-minded folks to sign it. Once a petition gets 150 signatures it goes live on WhiteHouse.gov and is searchable.
If the petition then reaches 5,000 signatures, it will be reviewed by the administration and an official on-the-record response will be issued from a policy expert on the given matter.
From David Plouffe, Senior Advisor to the President:
President Obama believes that government should be open and accountable to its citizens, and that’s the goal of We the People. This online platform gives Americans a direct line to the White House on the issues and concerns that matter most to them.
Soon, anyone will be able to create or sign a petition at WhiteHouse.gov seeking action from the federal government on a range of issues. If a petition gathers enough signatures, the White House staff will review it, make sure it gets to Obama Administration policy experts, and issue an official response. President Obama will even answer a few himself.
While this is a big change for the White House’s website, the idea is actually written into our founding documents. Throughout our history, Americans have used petitions to organize around issues they care about. We the People gives you a new way to join together with others to ask your government to address a problem, change a policy, or take action on a range of issues.
Learn more at www.whitehouse.gov/wethepeople.