Communication between citizens and their government is crucial for the kind of inclusive decision-making and collective deliberation that helps democracy deliver. One such form of communication involves petitioning government to address citizen concerns. While the right to petition is regarded as a fundamental principle in many democracies, the U.S. among them, where it’s guaranteed by the First Amendment of our Constitution, accessing the means to protect citizen participation in government is a problem that many around the world face.
Our newest DemTool - Petitions - seeks to address the need for civil society oversight and constituent input in policy-making by allowing citizens to publish, search for, and track petitions on a public website. The Petitions DemTool also comes ready to share petitions and responses via social media. Elected officials can track the site to identify constituent priorities and provide relevant responses, such as clarifying the government’s policies, laying out a plan for addressing the petition, or explaining the status quo.The platform can also be connected to other petition platforms like Change.org to make it even easier for citizens to engage their community on their ideas and causes.
Based on the platform We the People developed by the White House Office of Science and Technology, the Petitions DemTool provides a key part of the infrastructure a government needs to manage citizen requests and understand constituent priorities. Our team also built the platform to be multilingual (in Arabic, French, Russian and Spanish) and with a mobile-responsive design to meet the needs of our partners.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Petitions DemTool and the rest of our open source tools, visit https://dem.tools. Also, be sure to follow our livestream and #DemTools as we launch DemTools 2.0 on December 9!