For Immediate Release:
May 16, 2014
Contact: Dionne Johnson Calhoun
Grosso Announces New Initiative to Collaboratively Draft DC Laws Online with the Public
MadisonDC powers historic initiative to give the public a direct voice in the creation of District legislation, starting with bills on urban agriculture, open primaries, and marijuana policy
Washington, D.C.--Today, Councilmember David Grosso (I-At Large) and The OpenGov Foundation announced that three legislative proposals on urban farming, tax and regulation of marijuana, and open primaries are now open on the Internet to give the public a direct voice in the lawmaking process. This historic effort is made possible by the new Madison online lawmaking tool, empowering all residents to log on, be heard and ensure that their elected officials get policy right for the District. MadisonDC connects people directly with their elected officials, turning a confusing lawmaking process into an interactive, seamless user experience where everyone can add their input. Grosso will review and consider suggestions starting today and ending June 12.
“As we encourage more public engagement in the legislative process, I hope D.C. residents will take a moment to log onto the Madison project,” said Councilmember Grosso. “I look forward to seeing the public input on my proposed bills.”
Grosso is the first-ever local elected official to give residents—and others—a chance to participate in their municipal lawmaking process on the Internet. The three bills currently online with MadisonDC for public input are the D.C. Urban Farming and Food Security Act of 2014, the Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act of 2013, and the Open Primary Elections Amendment Act of 2014. MadisonDC not only opens up legislation to feedback from local residents, but also from people around the United States and other parts of the world who have experiences with similar laws and can provide their perspectives.
“We are excited to support Councilmember Grosso’s unprecedented efforts to bring residents - and their ideas--directly into the local lawmaking process. But what really matters is that we’re going to produce better City Council bills, with fewer frustrations and unintended consequences,” said OpenGov Foundation Executive Director Seamus Kraft.
“These three bills are only a start,” Kraft continued. “The ultimate goal of MadisonDC is transforming D.C.’s entire policymaking machine for the Internet Age, creating a completely seamless, on-demand collaboration ecosystem for both citizens and city officials. The possibilities are limitless.”
Madison is a free online policymaking tool created by the non-partisan, non-profit OpenGov Foundation to empower you to participate in your government, efficiently access your elected officials, and hold them accountable. Currently in beta, Madison is open source software that can be used to put any policymaking process online, increasing government transparency and connecting users like you directly to the decision-makers in our democracy. Click here if you want Madison working to improve your local, county or state government results.