CrowdLaw for Congress: 21st Century Lawmaking

Sponsored by the Democracy Fund, the CrowdLaw for Congress ( project explores how lawmaking bodies around the world are turning to CrowdLaw -- or the use of new technology -- to foster an efficient two-way conversation with the public that will improve the quality and the legitimacy of lawmaking.

With legislation   largely developed by professional staff and elected officials working behind closed doors, it is no wonder that rates of trust in Congress are at historic lows. Lobbyists and advocacy groups vie for precious face time with Members, while constituents’ emails and letters pile up in Congressional offices. These pressures are fueling the demand from lawmakers and the public alike for innovative and efficient ways to meaningfully tap into the public’s expertise and know-how.

Building on its experience working with public partners to design, implement and research the use of new technologies for governing, the Governance Lab at New York University is launching a series of five videos detailing the many ways legislatures around the world are using CrowdLaw practices successfully to engage with the public at each stage of lawmaking.

The videos are accompanied by in-depth case studies examining CrowdLaw initiatives, online interviews with elected officials and parliamentary staff offering vivid detail of how and why their legislatures are turning to online engagement to improve lawmaking. The CrowdLaw Playbook offers a downloadable guide with practical how-to's for introducing 21st century lawmaking techniques here in the United States.

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