Californians To Re-Write State Constitution Using Social Media

Top Quote The Golden State launches reThinkCali to Reform its Political System and to Convene the World's first Virtual Constitutional Convention. End Quote
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA (1888PressRelease) July 19, 2010 - California business and public policy leaders have convened world's first Virtual Constitutional Convention. The online effort,, will use Twitter and other social media to re-write the state's constitution, and "educate and engage everyone in innovating new solutions" to California's chronic problems. Using an online organizing technique known as "crowdsourcing", reThinkCali will offer incentives including prizes, scholarships and "stardom" to reward participants' contributions.

    "California's governance crisis is at the very root of our state's economic and fiscal problems, said Lenny Mendonca, Advisory Board Chair of reThinkCali and Chair of the Bay Area Economic Institute. The solutions for those problems will come from innovation and new ideas and reThinkCali is a fun catalyst."

    The effort is the brainchild of Los Angeles-based social entrepreneur Anthony Rubenstein, a veteran of California's ballot initiative process. He founded and led Californians for Clean Energy - Yes on Proposition 87 in 2006, and helped lead the "Coalition of Everyone Against Proposition 10" in 2008. "We're going to unleash the spirit of invention and out-of-the-box thinking that has made California the global engine of economic and cultural innovation," said Rubenstein. "By using California's new media tools like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to throw open the gates, we want to encourage everyone with an idea to fix what ails us to get involved, get heard, and get rewarded."

    reThinkCali will employ online "crowdsourcing" techniques that use a series of games or "challenges" designed to solicit ideas, allow all participants to rate and comment, and eventually select their favorites. The first challenge, dubbed the reConstitution e-Convention (or reCon e-Con) will allow e-delegates to re-write the California state constitution using Twitter and other social media tools. Participants will be eligible to win prizes and perhaps a bit of fame by creating, posting and even appearing in a user-generated media campaign slated for next January when California's new Governor and legislators are sworn-in.

    reThinkCali is a project of the New America Foundation, free to join, non-partisan and open to anyone-not just Californians. "The New America Foundation's California program is dedicated to finding new voices with new solutions for our state. For us, reThinkCali is an innovative way to bring those new voices into the conversation," said Mark Paul, Senior Scholar and Deputy Director of New America's California program.

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