Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New WikiBills Added to LexPop

From the LexPop BlogPop

Thanks to a great post by Megan Eskey, we’ve added two new WikiBills to LexPop. There is now a page on Protection from Abuse and Domestic Violence and one on Testator and Heir Protection.

Of course, adding the pages isn’t a lot of work. The real challenge is adding substantive content and working together to create something cohesive and useful. Adding the pages is just a start (in fact, they’ll probably have to be split into separate pages before long), but it’s still a start. At the moment, we haven’t started broadly publicizing LexPop, so it may be awhile before we get many edits, but this is a move in the direction we want to go.

Happy editing!

Co-creation of laws: it starts now. Policy Drives are projects on LexPop that are sponsored by a legislator. That is, a legislator says they'll introduce a bill made on LexPop on a given subject, and we develop it on the site. Please contact your elected representatives if you'd like to see a policy drive in your state. Here is a great blog on how to create policy on a wiki.

For government employees:

The Anti-Lobbying Act does not prohibit government employees from participating in lobbying activities while they are on personal time. Federal employees retain a constitutional right (as recognized by 5 USC Section 7211) to petition Congress, provided they act in a personal capacity or in a representative capacity on behalf of outside persons or organizations. The so-called anti-representation statutes (18 USC Sections 203 and 205) do not apply in relation to these personal capacity communications directed to legislative officials. Employees communicating with Congress on behalf of themselves or some other group or cause should, however, provide a disclaimer which indicates that the views expressed are those of the employee or others and do not necessarily reflect the position of the individual's employing agency. In addition, though many Agencies have a "personal use policy" to permit the minimal use of government resources, employees may not use their government computer, phone, fax or other supplies to conduct personal lobbying activities, even when on personal time, as that would constitute use of resources secured with appropriated funds for lobbying activities.
More information about my family's situation can be found here.

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