The past two days have been a whirlwind of excitement as people around America discover National Day of Civic Hacking and come forward to help out. The sheer volume of interest has given me cause to step back and think about the impact and potential behind the initiative. Our Country faces great challenges as we move forward in the 21st century. That said, I am reminded of the words of Plato:
“The beginning is the most important part of the work.”
While I would not presume to imply that the National Day of Civic Hacking will prove to be the savior of our economy, the solution to our changing climate, or the answer to the social inequalities that still plague our nation, I strongly believe that it is an opportunity to engage brilliant minds across the country to rethink civic participation, contribute to their communities, and take an active part in their democracy. Our country’s problems can not be solved by any one group alone. Rather, it requires the meaningful union of citizens of all kind - including entrepreneurs. Only by utilizing a diverse array of backgrounds, knowledge, and experience can we begin to address the issues important to all Americans.
Our government is formed of, by, and for the people. In order for it to succeed, the people must hold a healthy skepticism of government - but they also must realize that it can only flourish when fed the collective ingenuity of its citizens. Our generation’s faith in government has been tested more than ever before. However, as President Obama said on Monday, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it - so long as we seize it together.
I hope to see you join us as we enter the next era of democracy’s Great Experiment, and I welcome your feedback on how we can meaningfully engage with citizens as we strive to provide opportunities for them to engage and contribute to the United States of America.