E-Democracy builds online public space in the heart of real democracy and community. Our mission is to harness the power of online tools to support participation in public life, strengthen communities, and build democracy.
Volunteers are at the heart of making E-Democracy happen. We estimate that 90% of our labor is donated by volunteers.
Local volunteer forum leaders or "Forum Managers" leads the way on 50+ online community forums.
At the same time, they could use support! In 2013 we introduced a new volunteer program describing the various roles that could help build strong online Neighbors Forums that thrive.
Steven Clift, Executive Director and Founder of E-Democracy.org
Steve coined the term “e-democracy” in 1994 or, using current buzzwords, he uses social media for citizen engagement, public participation, transparency, Government 2.0 and related topics. In the fall of 2011, he taught a social media course at the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs where he challenged his students to learn by doing. That November he and his students organized the first Minnesota CityCamp, an “unconference” focused on innovation for municipal governments and community organizations. Steve is an Ashoka Fellow and speaker and consultant on online engagement and “e-democracy” across 30+ countries. In 2013 he was honored as a White House Champion of Change for Open Government.
Jennifer Armstrong, Project Coordinator and Help Desk
Jennifer has been doing freelance writing, editing and organizing since 1996, originally from the Twin Cities but more recently from the Iron Range in northeast Minnesota where she moved in 2006. “When my children were toddlers I bought my first house on the East Side of Saint Paul because I wanted them to be raised embedded in the diversity I knew they would have to live and work and thrive in as adults. For me, it’s about walking the talk and doing everything you can to remove the barriers to participation that impact so many in our community.” Jennifer provides project coordination assistance, helping in the background to make outreach efforts a success and producing regular reports to help the team effect real-time change. She went to the University of Colorado, Boulder where she was the first graduate to be awarded the newly approved B.A. in American Studies: Women Studies in 1983.
Bill Bushey, Technology Coordinator
Bill is a civic nerd – a software developer who works where technology meets society. Prior to joining E-Democracy, Bill received a B.S. in Computer Science from Clarkson University and an M.S. in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. He has developed software and provided technical consultation for Thomson Reuters, IBM, and Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and has participated in Google's Summer of Code. He now develops E-Democracy's online platform, provides technology guidance, and helps to plan the organization's technology initiatives. Bill is also involved in the civic technology community in the Twin Cities as a co-founder of Open Twin Cities, a grassroots group working to deploy online tools for the Twin Cities community.
Learn more about Past Team Members. (Who we bring back on contract for special projects.)
Learn more about our Board Members who determine our mission, set our strategic direction, approve the budget and hold our staff accountable.