United States Issues Forum Charter

The US Issues Forum is an experimental online forum for the sharing of information on and discussion of US politics and public policy. Through the end of 2009 it will test a slow-paced format to promote a more deliberative yet still vigorous exchange. This forum is more about the presentation of ideas and information than being right with one's ideology.


The purpose of the United States Issues Forum is for sharing information and discussing national public policy issues and politics in the United States among people with diverse political perspectives. Conversations may include topics from today's Congressional hearings, White House press briefings, breaking national news stories with policy implications, etc. (NOT FULLY OPEN).


The goals of United States Issues Forum are:

  • To give the public a voice in the politics of the United States with a goal that we can all gain insight on diverse ideas, share knowledge and information, and listen to one another.
  • To build a useful, participatory and agenda-setting online public space that reaches directly into the heart of real United States politics.
  • To host a respectful and civil forum where Americans with diverse perspectives can express their views and deliberate on important public issues in the US through ongoing conversation.
  • To provide a contrast to the typically anonymous and vitriolic online news comments we see on media-hosted websites and to bridge the partisan divide in the US political blogosphere by providing a neutral ground for exchange.
  • To open up national governance in the US to greater public participation and encourage both the accountability of government as well as political interests across the political spectrum.

Typical Topics

Topics that you might find here to discuss include:

  • Please contribute announcements from US-focused political, civic,
  • and government organizations, public policy and legislative
  • information, and presentations on issues of public interest. This
  • includes:
  • Legislative proposals in Congress and budget proposals
  • US foreign policy issues
  • Regional public issues of National interest
  • Links to great news stories or blog posts on US politics
  • Announcements of major policy or government reports.
  • Discussion of regional issues *only* when each post makes a direct connection to the impact on the US or discussion of specific efforts of a state’s Congressional delegation related to the National
  • interest.
  • Note: Discussion participants come from a wide range of backgrounds and have diverse political perspectives and communication styles.

Participation Rules

By taking part in this forum, you accept the full rules of the forum.

Highlighted rules:

  • This forum has rules (link just above). They are enforced. You may be suspended for violating those rules. You may compel a rules review of a specific post by filing a complaint with the Forum Manager.
  • Real Names: All forum posts must be identified with your real first and last name, and city and/or neighborhood by accurately filling out your user profile. You are forbidden from directly posting with a pseudonym, anonymously, or using another person's identity. If you use a false identity you will be banned from participation on all forums for five years; see special penalties described under Warnings. All user profile content is governed by these rules.
  • Post are limited to 2 every 24 Hours - To promote a diversity of voices and a more deliberative and civil conversation, posting limits are enforced by our software. Posts may not be edited or removed.
  • No name calling - Name calling (including using political labels as pejoratives) and personal attacks is not allowed and will lead to suspension if the behavior does not stop. Further, the key E-Democracy rule to clarify as it related to this forum is the definition of "name calling." This forum takes an expansive view - calling other participants, public officials, political groups, or groups in society "names" in a negative way is prohibited. If this constrains your "creativity" and you cannot make your point without labeling others with names in the pejorative, then please participate elsewhere. Example: Republocrats/Demoicans are idiots. X politician is a criminal. Rule violations. The policies of the Republocrat/Demonicans are idiotic. Upon conviction ... X politician is a crook. Acceptable. Using strong adjectives to describe inanimate objects is fine. Calling people or groups made up of people names is not. This includes labeling political parties or government administrations in extreme terms (e.g. Nazi, Dictator, Communist, Socialist, etc.).
  • If you do not accept or agree with these conditions, do not join or participate in this forum.

Forum Manager

The Forum Manager in United States Issues Forum is John Gaylord. He can be reached at

The volunteer Forum Manager is responsible for the general health and well-being of the forum. The Forum Manager shall:

  • enforce forum rules
  • respond to participant questions
  • listen to complaints or concerns
  • encourage active participation
  • maintain respectful tone of discussion

If you have any questions or concerns about the United States Issues Forum, please contact us at:

Membership and Roles

The United States Issues Forum Home Page shows the parts of United States Issues Forum that can be seen and contributed to by members and non-members.

You are not a member of United States Issues Forum. However, you can join United States Issues Forum.

Who runs this Forum?

The volunteer Forum Manager is John Gaylord. He is supported and currently accountable to a E-Democracy Minnesota committee of volunteers dedicated to furthering the purpose and goals of the forum. After the trial period, this forum may require its own support committee to continue. If you would like to volunteer to serve on this committee or if you have a complaint about forum management, please contact: