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© Krantz News Service, July 30, 2015


U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously stated that states are the laboratories of democracy.* So it is only fitting that LegiCrawler Analytics is hosting its own Laboratory of Democracy at the Annual Summit of the National Conference of State Legislatures on August 3-6 in Seattle. Drop by booth 224 to find out more.

When you arrive at the Laboratory of Democracy, have a bill number or an issue in mind upon which you would like to comment. We will take a short video of you commenting on the bill and will then upload your comments into the LegiCrawler platform as a note under the bill in question.

On our LegiCrawler display, you will be able to see your video comments and the various tools that you can use to disseminate your message to policy makers and constituents.

The Laboratory of Democracy is a component of LegiCrawler's new initiative, The Infrastructure of Democracy, the go-to application for associations, businesses and interest groups to follow the policy-making process and petition their legislators.

With this new platform, subscribers can watch video of committee hearings and floor votes and comment on whether they support or oppose the measure at issue. They will also be able to embed video comments from themselves regarding the legislation or positions the legislator has taken.

Legislators, on the other hand, will also be users and will be able to access these same videos and comments. Unlike mass emailings (dubbed "astroturf" or synthetic grassroots activism) LegiCrawler video comments will be authentically personal and will give valuable input to the legislators.

Video will soon be as much a part of government as text and email; it will shrink distances for constituents as the legislative and rulemaking process incorporates virtual hearings; moreover, social media video will facilitate virtual and actively participating audiences. Lawmakers will discover that "likes" and "dislikes" will be as real and real-time as a gallery full of spirited spectators.

*Justice Brandeis' actual wording was in a dissent to New State Ice Co. v. Liebmann, 285 U.S. 262 (1932): "It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous State may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country."

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