Revolutionary Government

Remember the American Revolution? When the people rose up and made government respond to their needs and interests? Seems a new revolution may be emerging in the state of Washington. It’s called Easy Citizen Involvement.

I met Dick Spady, the leader of the revolution, at RecentChangesCamp last week. He’s working to create something called Citizen Councilors in Washington state. Last year he ran a legislative initiative. This year he’ll collect 200,000+ signatures on petitions, to take it directly to the people, on a statewide ballot.

His plan works like this: Once approved by the people of the state, they will gather $10,000 in donations. That achieved, they’ll set up an 800 number to collect 1000 subscriptions for $10 each. Subscribers will commit to convening conversations of 8-12 neighbors and friends. Others will sign-up as communicators, to download and print materials for their groups.

While they are gathering subscribers, volunteers and elected officials will work with the State Auditor to produce a set of opinion survey questions that will form the basis for small group conversations throughout the state. After the conversations, participants will answer the survey questions and submit to the State Auditor for statewide tabulation.

It’s a revolutionary invitation to community conversation and feedback mechanism for federal, state and local governing officials. The Washington Association of Churches is supporting the petition and ballot initiative, giving it a good chance at succeeding.

See also, Dick’s State-of-the-Union Project, which invites and supports similar dialogue programs in schools, using the State of the Union address as the basis for students expressing their own opinions and listening to the opinions of others. It’s up and running and ready for classroom use.

2 Replies to “Revolutionary Government”

  1. On Friday, September 7, 2007, the King County Council agreed unanimously, in a 9-0 vote, to accept and enact Initiative 24 — the Easy Citizen Involvement initiative which creates official, volunteer, Citizen Councilors. Any person who lives or works in King County may participate. This is BIG NEWS, not only for Dick Spady (who has worked for over 40 years (!!) to bring about formal legislation of this kind at state or local levels) but also for the people of King County who now have another, government sponsored, method of more easily proving their opinions back to their representatives.

    For more information, please contact us at the links provided with this comment. We are also looking for volunteers to assist and help plan the implementation stage of this new law.

  2. Just a few days ago, the Citizen Councilor Networked achieved its required threshold of 1,000 registered councilors! Now, our small groups across King County are being activated and we expect our first countywide forums to occur in the May/June time frame.

    If you live or work in King County — join us! Register at

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