Rep. Mike Honda is one of the first members of Congress to adopt a new tool that lets lawmakers respond directly to people who’ve signed Change.org online petitions targeting them.
Change.org on Wednesday launched its “Decision Makers” utility, through which any elected official who is being petitioned can sign up for a verified profile where those petitions are aggregated in one public place. Notifications of responses from decision makers are sent via email to petition signers, who are encouraged to comment and continue the conversation on the petition page.
Honda’s page shows there are 125 open petitions to him with 10 or more signers.
“I have always worked to make my office as accessible to constituents as possible, and this system is a hyper-transparent way to see what issues Americans are really talking about,” Honda, D-San Jose, said in the company’s news release. “It’s tools like this that help us do what we came here to do — make government more accountable to the people who sent us here. I’m proud to be an early adopter of Change.org for Decision Makers, and hope to see other members take part as well.”
Others who’ve already signed up include U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md.; House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisc.; and Reps. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, Keith Ellison, D-Minn., and Patrick Murphy, D-Fla.
San Francisco-based Change.org is the world’s largest and fastest-growing online petition platform, with 45 million users in 196 countries and growing by 3 million users every month. It plans to roll out a similar tool for business leaders and figures in other sectors.
“For elected officials and business leaders who want to build lasting, productive relationships with their constituents and customers, this product provides a huge opportunity to engage, and it’s exciting to see elected officials recognize that right off the bat,” President and Chief Operating Officer Jennifer Dulski said in the release.