E-Government

White House raises the bar for petitions

Growth of petitions.whitehouse.gov

The number of petitions submitted to the White House's "We the People" site has grown rapidly in recent months.

The White House recently won over the nerd community with its response to a petition to build a Death Star, but not every submission to petitions.whitehouse.gov is quite so easy. And a rapidly growing number of petitions, serious and otherwise, have been hitting the response threshold on the "We the People" site.

So on the evening of Jan. 15, White House Director of Digital Strategy Macon Phillips announced that the new bar for a public response would be 100,000 signatures in 30 days.

Use of the petition site "more than doubled" in the last two months of 2012, Phillips wrote in a White House blog post. Noting that the threshold had been raised before, from 5,000 to 25,000, as more citizens began to participate, he wrote that this latest adjustment is "to ensure we're able to continue to give the most popular ideas the time they deserve."

Petitions posted before the announcement will not be held to the new standard.

About the Author

Troy K. Schneider is editor-in-chief of FCW and GCN.

Prior to joining 1105 Media in 2012, Schneider was the New America Foundation’s Director of Media & Technology, and before that was Managing Director for Electronic Publishing at the Atlantic Media Company. The founding editor of NationalJournal.com, Schneider also helped launch the political site PoliticsNow.com in the mid-1990s, and worked on the earliest online efforts of the Los Angeles Times and Newsday. He began his career in print journalism, and has written for a wide range of publications, including The New York Times, WashingtonPost.com, Slate, Politico, National Journal, Governing, and many of the other titles listed above.

Schneider is a graduate of Indiana University, where his emphases were journalism, business and religious studies.

Click here for previous articles by Schneider, or connect with him on Twitter: @troyschneider.


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Reader comments

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 Cowboy Joe

Seems to me, if they're gonna keep raisin' the bar, there needs to be some sort of "data-analytics" algorithm running in the background to consolidate petitions. Take the top three: 1) petition to call these folks a name, 2) petition to take away their birthday, 3) petition to call 'em a name AND take away their birthday. Seems like all the signatures on (3) oughta' get applied to (1) and (2), then dump (3) ... Then again, Im' guessin' the real response to any a these petitions aint' much moren'a good laugh over an oval office cuppa' joe.

Wed, Jan 16, 2013

This is in response to the succession petition. They were just waiting for something like this to happen. And, what ever did happen to the response of the succession petition?

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