We the People draws a curious crowd

Source: nextgov
Author: Joseph Marks
Coverage Type: research
The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC, 20500, United States

During roughly two months since its launch, the Obama Administration's We the People online petition website has drawn environmentalists looking to kill the Keystone pipeline project, graduate students seeking more subsidized loans and immigrants advocating for a less labyrinthine visa system. It's also attracted online poker enthusiasts asking for consumer protections, Wiccans looking for legal protections and three children seeking the return of their deported mother. Curious about who was using this experiment in digital democracy, Nextgov pulled the 119 petitions posted to We the People on Nov. 14 and organized them by broad subject matter. The list includes all unanswered petitions that are less than 30 days old and have met the 150 signature threshold to be posted to the public petition site. Nextgov did not distinguish between petitions that had reached the 25,000 signature threshold for an official White House response and those that had not. Petitions that fail to meet that threshold within 30 days are removed from the site and archived.


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