By Kathy Kemper – 01/09/09 04:45 AM ET
President Obama is going to inherit the most daunting set of challenges since FDR. There are the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Israelis and Palestinians are engaged in a bloody confrontation. The global economy is in a shambles.
It’s not a pretty picture, and it’s not certain how he’s going to tackle all of these issues. What is certain, however, is that he can’t come up with all the answers himself, as much as people might think that he can. That’s why he’s making sincere efforts to engage the American people to be proactive and help him generate solutions: “I will open the doors of government and ask you to be involved in your own democracy again,” he has declared.
A website called Change.org has taken him at his word and is inviting Americans to come up with proposals for how to improve America. The 10 ideas that get the most votes will be announced at the National Press Club on Jan. 16 and will receive the support of a national lobbying campaign run by Change.org, MySpace and leading NGOs.
I’d like to encourage all my readers to read and vote for one of the proposals that’s in the running, “Establish a ‘Global Challenges Wikipedia’ to Empower Problem Solvers,” by Ali Wyne, an Institute for Education Fellow. It’s a creative, nonpartisan approach to addressing every single global challenge that we face — climate change, infectious diseases, you name it. He has already garnered the support of some big names like Seth Green, the founder of Americans for Informed Democracy, and there’s every indication that Obama would support Ali’s proposal given his vision of a tech-driven government.
Support Ali, support civic engagement, support America, support our world community. Click away and vote by Jan. 15!