Interview: Why Early Voting is Both Important and Revolutionary


On Monday, I was interviewed as part of a small series on Politics and Technology by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine. We talked at length about early voting, why its such a big issue this election, what are the types of good & bad things that we can do with early voting data, and ways that people can find out early voting information with tools like Know How To Vote.

I am looking forward to talking with Jeff again about Politics and Technology soon.


One Love. One II.

The New NAACP: Upload 2 Uplift

September 17, 2008

Upload 2 UpliftYesterday afternoon, I participated in a call with new NAACP President & CEO Ben Jealousheld a press conference with Black bloggers and members of the Black press to kick off his tenure and discuss his top 2 priorities: helping Hurricane Ike survivors andensuring full participation in the upcoming election.

NAACP and Hurricane Ike

According to Jealous, the NAACP National Office sent 3 of its staff people to do two things:

  1. Ensure fairness in the distribution of aid
  2. Ensure the sins of Katrina are not repeated

They’ve got their work cut out for them, and Jealous actually told us something else disturbing about the lead-up to the storm:

Some poor communities complained to the NAACP that they were not adequately warned of the storm, its seriousness, or the voluntary/mandatory evacuations. This is because the warnings happened almost exclusively on TV, and these people had no TV.

People with questions in the state and out of state can call the NAACP Command Center, which is at their Texas State Conference, at (512) 322-9547.

It is a travesty that the NAACPs Command Center is set up before FEMAs.

Making sure people vote

While Jealous is working to make sure that folks in the wake of Ike get proper aid and electrical power, he and the NAACP are working hard to make sure that those folks electoral power is also fully restored and available. The rights of voters in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina was a major issue, and I actually marched in support of the re-enfranchisement of those voters. Upload 2 Upift: NAACP Registering People to Vote

In what Jealous called sign of things to come, he announced Upload 2 Uplift, a website that gives people the ability to do 2 things:

  1. Register themselves to vote online, or print out registration forms that they can mail in
  2. Register their friends and contacts to vote

#2 is very important, and its this social voter registration capability that really sets this tool apart from other online voter registration tools. Many  people know they have friends that are not registered to vote. If you know that persons email address, you can give them a very simple way to register quickly online. Additionally, the system will send people reminders by email and/or text message to let them know when to vote and where to vote, if they want it too. Pretty cool.

A great start

This was a good meeting for Jealous, and he demonstrated a new way of thinking about the NAACP and about advocacy & civic engagement. By including Black bloggers in his first press conference, Ben Jealous showed that blogging and other forms of new and online media will be an important part of the NAACPs strategy going forward. By creating its first real online tool, the NAACP shows that technology and the Internet will be important parts of their strategy going forward. I am looking forward to see what they do with this momentum.

One Love. One II.

Barack Obama on Technology and Net Neutrality

November 14, 2007

Barack Obama will be giving a talk at Googleplex in Mountain View, CA today, in which he will lay out a comprehensive, 5-point technology policy:

  • Ensure the full and free exchange of information among Americans through an open Internet and diverse media outlets.
  • Create a transparent and connected democracy.
  • Encourage the deployment of a modern communications infrastructure.
  • Employ technology and innovation to solve our nation s most pressing problems, including reducing the costs of health care, encouraging the development of new clean energy sources, and improving public safety.
  • Improve Americas competitiveness.

The full text of the handout to be used this evening is here.

The most important piece of this is the second point of creating a transparent and connected democracy.†Making government data and information available in standard, accessible formats is a brain-dead simple solution to the problem of not knowing how to access government information. The appointment of a US CTO is a good strategy because it would mandate someone with technical knowledge and experience actually make technology decisions [instead of people like Ted Stevens].

My hope is that other candidates will lay out thoughtful, progressive approaches to technology policy so that we can use this as another differentiation.

One Love. One II.

Barack Obama: The Internet is about equality

October 30, 2007

Not the most informed statement on the issue, but it seems like an honest promise to preserve net neutrality.

He must have listened to my podcast on Net Neutrality.

One Love. One II.

P.S. 10 Questions is hot. Big ups to Afro-Netizen and BlackProf for participating.

Why Black folks need broadband

October 11, 2007

The Center for Creative Voices in Medias The Case for Universal Broadband: Now!study was released today. It says that this country needs everyone to have equal access to reliable high-speed Internet connections. I agree, and I think this is especially true for Black people.

Read more

The Abortion of the Female Scientist

August 28, 2007

It sounds like we not only need to save our girls, but we also need to debunk the myths of girls interest in science, technology, math, and engineering, which are literally killing girls desires to pursue these fields.

Here’s the most interesting quote:

The mentality of needing to weed out weaker students in college majors especially in the more quantitative disciplines” disproportionately weeds out women. This is not necessarily because women are failing. Rather, women often perceive as inadequate grades and drop out, while men will persist with the class.

I agree that this weed-out mentality is complete BS and is actually anti-competitive because it eliminates diversity in total competition


Also, am I the only one to read this and think, Man, the perceived bar for success is much lower for boys than it is for girls. Perhaps those C-student boys should have been weeded-out

One Love. One II.

Creating Better Information Flow in the Black Community: A Discussion

May 31, 2007

This past Friday, 25 May 2007, I participated in a panel discussion at the AnnualBlacks In Government Conference in Seattle entitled, “Say What? Keeping Information and Ideas Moving in the Black community.†The panel was moderated by K. Wyking Garrett, CEO of Remix Marketing and Communications, and included myself and Monique Carillo, Founder of Carillo PR.

The discussion, which was well attended by enthusiastic participants, grew from a general exchange on definitions of knowledge and information to an all-out brainstorming session on ways to communicate better with one another.

Read more

Podcast on the Importance of a Public Internet

May 30, 2007

Last week I recorded my first podcast for the Northwest Progressive Institute, a Washington-based think tank for which I serve as Senior Policy Analyst for Technology.

The title is Reframing Net Neutrality, and it talks about why an accessible and public and non-discriminatory Internet is important to preserve. You can listen to the audio here.

One Love. One II.

Read more

The end of the MySpace soldier

May 15, 2007

I wrote a short piece at Northwest Progressive Institutes blog about the Department of Defense is banning soldier access to MySpace, YouTube, and other sites.

Do you think that this is a big deal? Soldiers will still be able to access the sites from their own computers, but it seems odd to me that the blocked sites are ones that thrive off of user-generated content, which means that they are sites where the sites participants control what gets onto the site. I guess this is similar to policies at some draconian companies like GM, but I see it as a big brother play to try to prevent soldiers from hearing dissenting viewpoints.

One Love. One II.

Presidential Debates are closer to really being Public


An update on the push to make debate videos truly available to everyone.

It looks like CNN heard this call, and is responding by making their Presidential Debate Footage available without restriction. I appreciate the effort and support of those of you that supported this action.

Senator Chris Dodd, Former Senator John Edwards, and Senator Barack Obama, all Presidential candidates, all supported this as well. This is a good sign that these individuals will take thoughtful approaches to technology policy, should one of them be elected.

One Love. One II.