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Citizen-Led Political Reform Pioneers in Philadelphia

An exciting effort in citizen-led political reform in Philadelphia is currently underway at www.reformballot.org. Using the power of wikipedia, this experiment in deliberative democracy that was launched on March 13 gives citizens the opportunity to edit, contribute, and vote on a R.E.F.O.R.M. Agenda for Philadelphia’ s May 15, 2007 municipal elections. The idea is to collectively articulate what it means to be a reformer and to collaboratively develop a reform political agenda. Until April 3rd, the reform agenda will exist in “wiki” form so visitors can make changes instantly as they can in wikipedia. After April 3rd, all reformers who have signed onto the R.E.F.O.R.M. Compact will be able to vote on the principles comprising the final R.E.F.O.R.M. Agenda that will be presented to candidates for Mayor and City Council on April 15th for their consideration. Finally, on May 1st, the site will unveil the candidates’ responses so Philadelphians can understand who is for this public agenda — and who is not. Keep a lookout for the results of this innovative experiment!

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Sandy Heierbacher
Sandy Heierbacher co-founded the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) with Andy Fluke in 2002, with the 60 volunteers and 50 organizations who worked together to plan NCDD’s first national conference. She served as NCDD's Executive Director between 2002 and 2018. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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