As one who entered the digital age with a Commodore 64 (pictured, for those born after the Reagan administration), I have seen “the Google” and “the Yahoo” shrink our world. And now "the Internet" accesses remote parts of the globe. Looking out my backdoor (sorry, Mr. Fogerty) I visit the Great Wall of China, Piccadilly Circus, outer space, even elephants in a band. The Indiana General Assembly meets in Indianapolis during the winter. Most of their work is done during the day. It is impractical for most citizens to attend committee meetings or general sessions. The Web changes this. Participatory democracy, for the first time in history, is set-up to allow full participation. Web cameras hang in the House and Senate chambers, five committee hearing rooms and portions of the court system. The Internet has literalized the saying, "at your finger tips."
I view any bills being introduced in the General Assembly. I easily find my representative and senator’s contact information. I send emails expressing my views. I watch elected officials discuss and vote on issues affecting my daily life. I watched the Governor’s State of the State without any overlapping commentary. I read blogs and Twitter comments from a diversity of view points. I draw my own conclusions.
The key word in that paragraph was "I." No longer "they." Overseeing IndianaNet® allows me to witness how digitizing democracy increases our ability to shape and own the future. The old beige desktop has given way to pocket-sized back doors.