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Got a beef about something? Please sign here

January 9, 2013 - Art Smith
The right for us to disagree with our government is a right that is guaranteed by the Constitution. The First Amendment gives you the right to openly disagree, just as it grants media the right to report those disagreements.

Citizens have used the right to address things they feel need to be changed, frequently using petitions to gather names of people who think as they do.

The White House has made it a little easier for voices to be hear by starting a “We the People” section on the website for the administration.

The process is simple. Sign up for a free account and you can sign any of the 203 petitions that are currently on the site. If you don’t see one that addresses your concerns you can start your own. Once 25,000 petitions are obtained the administration will issue an official response. Petitions have one month to reach the goal.

So far the White House has responded to 91 petitions on the site on a wide gamut of subjects ranging for recipe for the White House beer to one that wanted the patent office to stop issuing software patents. A lot of the current petitions are nowhere near the threshold of 25,000 needed to get a response. A petition to authorize a reality show featuring the vice president, for instance, has until Feb. 3 to collect 23,086. Make that 23,085, I think a show like that would be pretty entertaining, so I just signed it. Another petition urges the administration to “Assign NASA to do a feasibility study and conceptual design of the Gen1 USS Enterprise interplanetary spaceship.”

Most of the petitions are more serious, for example, “Make the Metric system the standard in the United States, instead of the Imperial system,” which is nearing the threshold, or “To award the Medal of Freedom to the 4 Firefighters who were ambushed in West Webster, New York, on Christmas Eve 2012,” which has hit the number and will get a response. There are several petitions that are either for or against more gun control. There are a couple of petitions that concern the rape case currently being investigated in Steubenville, Ohio.

People in the Mid-Ohio Valley have strong opinions. The number of comments we get on news stories is evidence of that.

The White House petition site gives people the ability to be heard on a national stage by people who, at least in theory, can evoke change.

Got a beef about something, do something about it. Tell the president.


Article Comments



Jan-09-13 3:27 PM

ok... guess that was too close to the forbidden HTML... use dot-gov and not dot-com


Jan-09-13 3:26 PM

if trying to go to the White House web site by typing in the address directly, rather than clicking on the link in the story, be sure to use the **** address and not ****, which will take you to a **** site


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