Reset San Francisco is a website developed by San Francisco assessor-recorder Phil Ting that uses web 2.0 tools to facilitate political conversation. It is designed to bring the citizens of SF closer to city hall and become involved in decision-making. The aim of the website is to empower San Franciscians by bringing them together to discuss the issues that impact their everyday lives. This lets people, rather than politicians lead the political conversation. It is one step towards closing the democratic deficit that exists in any system when it becomes difficult for people to participate directly in the political process. The enormous tool-box that the internet provides is opening up a multitude of new ways people can participate in politics. The corridors of power really are getting wider.
Ting is running for Mayor in San Francisco in November 2011. Unlike other candidates Ting has recognized that not only do online tools help political candidates get their message out to voters and build their brand, it also enables them to reach out to people and involve them in their message. He is creating a feedback mechanism so that instead of having a one-way dialogue with voters, he is have a conversation.
The website invites voters to discuss various issues under categories such as Transport, Housing, Employment and the Environment. In addition to fostering online interaction Ting has used the platform to build a community in the 'real world'. He has hosted several events each of which drew crowds of over 200. This is in recognition that online tools are a means to achieve real community change.
Gov 2.0 is rapidly evolving and will increasingly play an important part in political dialogue. Join Reset San Francisco to explore Ting's vision of interactive governing: http://www.resetsanfrancisco.org/