Hey, if anyone tried contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org - our bad! That email doesn’t work! Please reach us at email@example.com. Sorry for the inconvenience!
amkelly asked: You write under "Things we will not do" that you will not "Make a serious profit." Can you define "serious?" Is that some percentage of revenue? Are you planning to have funds left over after hiring lobbyists? What else are you planning to do with funds and why aren't you simply doing *more* of that instead of earmarking the money as profits? If you've got more revenue than expenses, increase your expenses until you run out of money: get more time with the lobbyists. Is that already your plan?
Lobbying in DC brings up shady thoughts. Isolated back room meetings, campaign financing, forcing socially unconscious laws onto the public for corporate profit - there’s very little good that people correlate to lobbying.
So, in making a website that seeks to crowd fund people’s money in order to finance a lobbying firm, We, The Lobby, should be clear on our intentions.
Things we WILL NOT do:
The one thing we’re hoping will happen:
We The Lobby was started over concerns around SOPA and PIPA because as Internet workers those pieces of legislation threaten our workplace.
There are three pieces of writing that helped make this site happen:
1) This piece from Vice. It started it all, it made us smirk in acknowledgement, like a bit of Shakespeare, and shake our fist at Congress for being so awful and not knowing the value of the Internet.
2) This response from the Information Diet made us think, well wait, there is a system in place, maybe we (who know the Internet) can use the Internet as a tool within the system instead of willfully ignoring that the system exists. This was really what got the ball rolling, this idea that maybe comparing congress to ourselves wasn’t the answer. We had to understand our audience.
3) Looking around a bit, we found this Huffington post article, which made us think even more about how much the system is in fact a system. We are good at systems, maybe we could use this one to our advantage?
And if you like reading, here is some more:
a) While working we read this NY times piece on the current SOPA/PIPA affair and the most telling moment is a harried aide saying “Why can’t they just hire a lobbyist like everyone else?”
b) This NY times article about Stephen Colbert and his multiple identities, but most importantly his SUPER PAC and the nature of money in politics. We had already started working by the time this piece was written, but it acted as a catalyst, a reminder of what is possible with the combination of money and curiosity in regards to arcane systems.
c) When we started we were primarily thinking about SOPA and PIPA so this made a lot of sense too, because, legislatively, new forms of speech have a historical record of being misunderstood.
Other things we’ve read related to SOPA or general misunderstandings:
Metafilter post using a wheel building metaphor.
Congress doesn’t understand Moore’s law (Single Link Vimeo).
A corporation is a collective of people, from the CEO down to the mail room, but when they speak to politicians, they operate as though they represent not only the interests but also the opinions of everyone who works for them.
When a corporation pays for a lobbyist they do so because they are worried about legislation that will affect their business. They don’t care much for the social effects of the legislation.
For a corporation lobbying is part of their arsenal of business tactics. It’s an investment in not having to re-tool their business and adapt more sustainable practices.
When legislation affects us socially, when it impacts our health, or threatens our livelihood we are deeply passionate about that impact - but so far we have been able to do very little. The lobbying corporations do has been out of reach to individuals or even communities. Let’s make larger groups and use lobbying to be heard again.
More importantly, we would actually like nothing more than to push for a bill against allowing professionals to lobby and for campaign finance reform. We believe that the right to voice your opinion as a citizen in the legislature is your right as a human being and a voter. Unfortunately, the professionals on K Street have the connections and the influence to get meetings with Senators and Congressmen even while you may not.