I wanted to throw a more abject thought into the ring after today's blogger presser at The Senate Site. (Play by play of the presser itself can be found at KVNU For the People and via tweet from Tyler Riggs and Misty Fowler).
What struck me the most about the event was the experience itself. I was watching via live stream, while Jason (with his KVNU hat on today), JM Bell, and others were interacting via conference call or in person (saw Misty and Glen Warchol in the stream). Sitting at my laptop, I was able to watch/listen to the questions and responses from Senators, as well as get a fresh chunk of insight from each of the twitter feeds and live blogs. Not simply a collection of reactions, but also links to other resources that provided a more filled out experience for me.
I haven't been able to follow this session as closely as other here at The SideTrack or elsewhere, but from this one blogger presser and the "extra-curricular" real time input from Twitter feeds, I feel mostly caught up (at least on the bills discussed).
Which brings me to my point (which is actually Ric Cantrell's point, one he made in the post-presser questions directed at him and "Government 2.0" efforts). Quoting Jason's live-blog paraphrase of Mr. Cantrell at For the People:
You live under the laws these representatives create, but most of your neighbors couldn’t tell you how things work up here. If citizens aren’t engaged as a “board of directors” good behavior doesn’t get rewarded, bad behavior doesn’t get punished. Doesn’t take an armed insurrection to take back the government, it just takes a vote. It’s not hard to be educated.This experience was proof of the truth in those words, for me. Through a combination of "new media" (blogs), "social networking" (twitter) and a handful of willing Senators (with the urging of Mr. Cantrell and team), I learned more about several bills and legislative events than most people probably get throughout the space of an entire legislative session.
This presser alone upped the ante on public engagement in the process, and dissolves 50% of the excuses we all have for not paying attention to what our governing bodies are up to and how laws are being made. Here's to hoping we see more of these pressers, and other venues of interaction from the Capitol in future sessions, and sincere admiration for what's already been achieved.