As reported by Matt Williams on www.govtech.com, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger authorized the creation of a new website that reaches out to Californians for their ideas and suggestions. The site is MyIdea4CA.com. Californians can access the site where they will be able to post suggestions or ideas, vote up or down on these posts, and even comment on them via their Facebook or Twitter accounts.
I’d like to take a moment to applaud Gov. Schwarzenegger for being one of the few Republicans that has embraced the 21st Century and all it has to technologically offer. Of course, Schwarzenegger is not your typical Republican. Unlike most Democrats and Republicans, he doesn’t look at an issue, compare and contrast it to party platform, and then announce his stance. Rather, he decides his stance on an issue after hearing both sides and doing a little soul-searching himself. From the day he entered the office in the aftermath of Gray Davis’ mess, he had liberal progressives shaking in their boots as Californians celebrated him as a beacon of light guiding California politics out of the haze of corruption.
In 2008, Americans voted for greater transparency in government. Unfortunately, they were foolish enough to be had by a classic product of the Chicago political machine. If you want to see how a leader is truly transparent, I offer you Gov. Schwarzenegger. Though not perfect, he makes his public life and service an accessible news story via his Twitter account. Given California’s budget “crisis” (or should I say “doomsday”?), it is refreshing to see a leader willing to get on the people’s level.
Even more refreshing is the excited response from Californians to Gov. Schwarzenegger’s pleas for ideas. Californians want to see their state survive and have creative ideas to keep its head above water. The California Garage Sale may not have put a dent in the millions of dollars of debt, but it did lift some of the feeling of despair and hopelessness associated with that debt.
By showing that he is listening and reaching out to his constituents, Gov. Schwarzenegger is setting a new precedent in which the elected official is humanized by his ability to interact with his public. While nearly all Congressional and Senatorial offices will reply to your email or phone call with a polite form letter (with a forged signature by the most rookie intern), a response from “The Governor” is a Twitter video, a Twitpic, or, as we have seen, action.
So Californians, I urge you to visit MyIdea4CA.com. Let the educated, creative individuals of the public be heard, and may the best idea win!