Blogging for Mashable.com, Adam Ostrow offers several suggestions for how Obama’s administration can continue to use its well-established social networks during the next four years and beyond.
Most of his ideas include keeping Obama’s base civically engaged—educating them about legislation that needs congressional support, and calling citizens to service:
Obama has often talked about a call to service during his campaign – things like expanding the Peace Corps and offering tax credits in exchange for public service. Why not allow users of MyBarackObama to utilize the platform to organize community service projects? Use Twitter and SMS to alert people to opportunities to give back in their own communities or when national tragedy strikes. Utilize Facebook to get the word out about charitable events. The tools and the users are already in place.
Rather than requiring people to be so proactive about doing good, Obama’s social media reach allows them to be reactive – staying informed of things going on in their communities, organizing people that can help, and then pitching in – all from the comfort of their personal computer.
I feel old saying this, but there was a time not so long ago when presidents wouldn’t even appear on night-time talk shows. What do you think of a President who keeps a blog, whom you can support on Facebook and who can follow you on Twitter?
How else can we capture the energy left in the wake of the election, where Democrats and Republicans mobilized to the mantra of “change”?
See this post about Obama’s plans for his social network.
Also check out this article on the implications of Obama’s online campaign for the social sector, by Tom Watson, author of CauseWired: Plugging In, Getting Involved, Changing the World and publisher of OnPhilanthropy.
Today the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) launches a petition to seek Peace Corps expansion under the new Obama administration.
The independent nonprofit group of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers is asking supporters to sign a petition to advocate for the growth and strengthening of Peace Corps.
With the election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, the National Peace Corps Association and its MorePeaceCorps campaign has launched an on-line petition urging support for a bigger, better and bolder Peace Corps. The petition is addressed to President-elect Obama, and will be presented to the Obama transition team. We also plan to use the petition as a way of showing critical state and congressional district support during meetings in the coming months with Capitol Hill lawmakers. Take action right now, right here.
Read more about Obama’s pre-election stance on service corps programs.
Read more about the MorePeaceCorps campaign. Read Barack Obama’s letter to RPCVs in the fall 2008 issue of World View Magazine.
Barack Obama is arguably one of the most internationalist presidents in U.S. history, his father having come from Kenya; some of his elementary school years spent in Jakarta.
With record numbers of first-time voters and young people backing Obama’s presidency, perhaps a new generation of government workers will not be so hard to recruit after all.
With Baby Boomers retiring in droves over the next decade, fears have been widespread in public and nonprofit sectors that the United States will face a leadership shortage.
Not enough young people have shown an interest in government careers, and in-roads to government careers are not well known. Government has a reputation of being inefficient, less lucrative than business sector work, and very, very bureaucratic. People cite student loans that are just too high, and the need for better marketing of the compelling opportunities available in the government.
“This will not be a call issued in one speech or one program – this will be a central cause of my presidency. We will ask Americans to serve. We will create new opportunities for Americans to serve. And we will direct that service to our most pressing national challenges.”– U.S. President-Elect Barack Obama during a speech given at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs July 2, 2008.
John F. Kennedy inspired a generation of youth to serve through initiatives like Peace Corps. Will a new generation of people — young people and people who are recently discovering civic engagement — be inspired to join the ranks of an Obama-led federal government? What do you think?
If you are considering a career in government — whether you supported McCain or Obama during this election cycle — you should know about these resources:
President-Elect Obama has been particularly clear that his administration will count on the help of people who have supported his candidacy and on those who didn’t. Young people may accept this invitation by entering the government workforce. If they do so with the enthusiasm and turn-out they have shown in his election bid, the looming leadership crisis may fail to materialize.
Marginalized New Orleans Youth Strive for a Brighter, Greener Future
The Corps Network has recently launched a new service program in New Orleans. The Conservation Corps of Greater New Orleans (CCGNO) combines many goals:
- Engage local youth whom the schools have not reached, including formerly incarcerated and court-involved 16-24 year olds
- Prepare these youth with highly marketable and potentially lucrative green job skills
- Give them the chance to use sustainable practices to restore the environment and historic structures, conserve energy, and build community
- Revitalize New Orleans, a city still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina
- Innovate service learning practices by implementing them without the classroom
- Transform the public perception of marginalized youth by giving them a platform and a voice
- Instill in these youth the value of service to community at an early age
CCGNO leverages some investment from the Federal government, to not only transform the lives of its Corps members but also to rebuild and rejuvenate New Orleans infrastructure and community.
The program graduates its first class of Corps members this Friday through its Service Learning Showcase, where 100 Corps members will share their accomplishments from their three-month term of service.
During their term, Corps members visualized success, researched and assessed community needs, proposed and implemented sustainable projects, and finally evaluated their own outcomes. Corps members have served side by side with up to seven peers, plus professional mentors who have guided them. They have served in agencies throughout Greater New Orleans.
Recruited from the parishes of Greater New Orleans, the inaugural class of CCGNO show that quality service-learning comes through youth ownership. By mid-2009, CCGNO hopes to have graduated 800 Corps members.
While some service corps programs are hit-or-miss when it comes to career transitions, CCGNO is all about green workforce development, and commits to propelling its graduating Corps members towards green jobs and further education.
For further reading on bringing all voices to the environmental movement, check out GreenForAll.org. In November 2008, Green For All’s founder Van Jones published a book Green Collar Economy. Also read this New York Times blog post (from 11/10/08) about Van Jones and the Obama administration. Check out this interview with Van Jones, who explains more: