To my fellow citizens:
The Right to be Heard is a right not mentioned in the Constitution and thus is a right retained by the people under the ninth amendment. Freedom of Speech, Freedom to Petition, and Freedom to Assemble are hollow rights if people feel unable to be heard.
This initiative, I-24, establishes a new system of mass means of feedback communication that enables every person who is interested and lives or works in King County to participate. The purpose is to strengthen democracy at all levels—county, and cities —in ourselves and in our society—to help build a vision among the people, young and old, to help them shape their own future.
This initiative has no fiscal impact for the county as it is funded by donations—estimated at $10 per year per person in small groups of 4 to 12 people meeting approximately quarterly.
The establishment of a decentralized Dialogue, Deliberation, and Discernment process will enable the public to communicate symbolically among themselves and with their leaders on issues and questions of concern in an ongoing iterative process. People participating will do so out of a sense of ennoblement in an effort to help the common good.
The process established will be administered by the County Auditor who has charter authority to ensure that local governments are accountable to the public they serve. This bill enables the people of the King County to help in this process by enabling the monitoring of the intangible assets of esprit de corps and stakeholder opinions and concerns. Data gathered will be available to all governments, the news media, and the public and can be accessed on a web site with responses displayed using anonymous demographics, e.g., by Zip Code, by legislative district, by gender, by age, by ethnic family, and others as provided. All responses are properly disclaimed and are 100% valid for those participating, and because responses are reported using simple percentages, there is no information overload for governments and their officials—no matter how many people participate.
This process will not tell anyone what is "right or wrong," but it will tell what the people who are participating perceive is right or wrong at that point in time. Furthermore, the process takes nothing away from those who are elected or duly appointed—they retain all their prerogatives that they now have in our representative republic. Governments are not charged with providing their people with all the amenities of life they feel they need to make them happy. But all governments are charged with enabling their people to pursue their own happiness!
© 2006 Forum Foundation
Dick Spady, President of