We the People – Your voice in our government

We the People – Your voice in our government

♪♪ (music playing) ♪♪ Macon Phillips:
Since we launched
“We the People”, we’ve heard all sorts of praise
and criticism for this new type of online engagement, including
a lot of people who said, hey, take this stuff seriously, and
I’m here to tell you that we do. Every week we get together to
discuss petitions that have crossed the threshold. And so when a
petition crosses it, it becomes a part of
that conversation. The right people
at the White House, the people making
the policy decisions, from the Deputy Chief
of Staff for Policy, all the way through the
different policy offices, are actively discussing
these issues. Nancy Ann DeParle:
Well, we knew that there was a
hunger out there for an ability to petition the White House
and give us a sense of how much support there was
for various ideas, but we didn’t know
how big it was. We really are trying to be
as accessible as we can be. That’s why we’ve created so
many opportunities through our website for people to reach out
to people here who are working at the White House. Jon Carson:
There are issues that are
on live petitions right now on We the People that senior
members of the White House are having meetings about because
the issue came to us through We the People. Being able to say, look, 60,000
people signed a petition on We the People in just a matter
of weeks, it’s impactful. Nancy Ann DeParle:
We’re always looking
for fresh new ideas, and we find that many of the
best ideas don’t necessarily come from people inside the
West Wing, or this building, or the complex, but from out
there where people are creating jobs and figuring out how to
grow the economy every day. So, we’ve gotten some
really good ideas. I’ve enjoyed talking
to people about them. Felicia Escobar:
If there is an issue that
people are really feeling, and it generated enough
attention that enough people signed the petition, it
definitely is something that we should be considering
and be thinking about. Macon Phillips:
If you get enough
signatures on a petition, it gets on the
White House’s radar. This is new to something like
the government to be able to use the Internet, to rapidly scale
the amount of voices that can be brought into every discussion
that’s here at the White House, and they are showing the
public that those discussions are happening by
formulating responses. Sometimes those responses are
just clear articulations of where we stand and
why we disagree. Sometimes they are requests
for further engagement. We’ll invite the people who
created the petition in to have those conversations. And sometimes they are
actually changing policy. And it’s critical that we
continue to get public feedback about how we can improve. Because no one here at the White
House thinks this is perfect. We think it’s the
right thing to do, making sure that we’re speaking
to people about the issues they care about. And oftentimes, that means
issues that we aren’t currently addressing in our
day-to-day activities. And so we’re really excited to
see just the scope of things we’ve been able to
talk about so far, and we’re looking forward
to seeing even more come in.

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