Barriers to Social Media Use by Congress

Improving Government Effectiveness
Location: Independence Ballroom A Level:
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For all of their promise, Web 2.0 tools have thus provided little upside for Congress. Facebook, Twitter and a host of citizen engagement tools have flooded Congressional offices with incoming messages, without corresponding tools for processing those messages, unverified petitions, and unending tweets or comments from non-constituents. For grassroots groups, this new landscape offers only one option: send more emails, generate more calls, be more shocking, YELL LOUDER. That’s not good for the public and it’s not good for the advocacy groups, member organizations and trade associations whose primary purpose is to get the attention of Congress. PopVox founder and former congressional staffer Marci Harris will lay out her vision for aggregating, curating and quantifying grassroots activism to deliver the public’s message in a way that can be received – and acted upon – by Congress. PopVox is designed to harness the ever-increasing volume of socially networked public action in a form that is structured, transparent, and useful for decision-makers.

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Marci Harris

Civic Engagement Solutions

Marci Harris, CEO, of Civic Engagement Solutions, Inc., began her public service career as Tornado Recovery Coordinator for Jackson, TN working with private and public organizations and state, local and federal agencies to marshall resources and rebuild the town. In 2007, she became Tax, Trade, and Health Counsel to the Chairman of the Health Subcommittee of Ways and Means, serving as Committee lead for Medicare Program Integrity and Physician Payments Sunshine provisions of the House health reform bill. Frustration with the increasing volume of public input directed toward the legislature with no corresponding tool to track the influx led her to leave DC in February to develop the tool that will provide a Web 2.0 solution for the challenges that Web 2.0 has created for Congress.

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