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Revision as of 21:21, 27 October 2007 by Tim Erickson (Talk | contribs) (New page: {{Launch}} __NOTOC__ '''Please follow the following steps towards launching your local Issues Forum.''' Sign (simply enter your name) and date each item as you complete it. This will allo...)

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Back to Start A Forum

Please follow the following steps towards launching your local Issues Forum. Sign (simply enter your name) and date each item as you complete it. This will allow E-Democracy.Org staff to monitor your progress and offer assistance at the appropriate times. It will also allow others to follow along with your successes.

1) Sign on the dotted line!

Enter some basic info here to indicate that you are ready to start the process of launching a local Issues Forum in your community! There is no cost nor obligation to start the process, but please wait until you are really ready before starting. Launching a local Issues Forum will take a significant amount of work:

......Name of Forum: Enter Name Here

......Name of Organizer: Enter Your Name Here

......Date Started: Enter Start Date

(Note: Groups should attempt to launch their forum within 3 months of start)

2) Join our "Liftoff" group

Liftoff is a special online group that we have set up for peer-to-peer support of folks who are launching local Issues Forums. Many of our more experienced volunteers and staff are also on hand in this forum to answer questions and offer words of encouragement.

* Sign here (name and date) when complete

3) Identify a steering committee

Identify at least 5 people to serve on your steering committee. Your steering committee should not be a group of people with the same political and organizational affiliations within the community. Try to find a small group of people that:

  • Has some degree of political diversity
  • Includes some racial or gender diversity
  • Is able to set aside their personal agendas to create a non-partisan space fro public discussion

Enter at least five names here (its ok to use first names only):

  1. - replace with name -
  2. - replace with name -
  3. - replace with name -
  4. - replace with name -
  5. - add lines if necessary -

* Sign here (name and date) when complete

4) Set-up forum for your group to begin organizing

Ask E-Democracy.Org to set up two forums. One will be a closed space where members of your steering committee can communicate about the management of the forum. The second will be the forum itself. Initially, the forum itself will be closed to any traffic - but available for members of the community to JOIN. (Contact Us Here)

* Sign here (name and date) when complete

5) Have a face to face meeting

It would be best if your steering committee could meet together at least once, before launch (a conference call is an option). This gives you the opportunity to discuss the charter and make sure that the group has a common understanding of what you hope to accomplish with the forum. Its also a good time to decide who will be the forum manager and to discuss expectations and how other members of the Steering Committee might be able to support the forum manager. Check to see if an E-Democracy.Org representative from your region is available to attend this meeting. Contact Us.

  • Pick a date and time MeetingWizard.Com
  • Select a location (we recommend a relaxed atmosphere and easy to access location, like a community coffee shop)
  • Sample Agenda
    1. Select a Chair Person for the steering comittee. Best if it is someone other than the Forum Manager.
    2. Draft Charter (see next item on checklist)
    3. Select a Forum Manager
    4. Decide how often the steering committee will meet (at least twice a year). Set dates, times, and locations for the next couple of meetings.
    5. Discuss kick-off event
    6. Training (contact E-Democracy.Org about scheduling an Issues Forum training for your steering committee, either at this meeting or another date/time.)

* Sign here (name and date) when complete

6) Complete charter worksheet

Create your own charter worksheet, using copy and paste, in the same way that you created this page. Please, feel use or edit text from other existing forums.

* Sign here (name and date) when complete

7) Identify a forum manager

Some resources.

.....Forum Manager: {Insert name here}

* Sign here (name and date) when complete

8) Recruit at least 100 participants

To Do: (move to "Done" as completed)

  • Create a sign up sheet (see template - when available)
  • Invite local elected officials (add sample email)
  • Invite local government staff (add sample email)
  • Invite local reporters (print, video, and internet) (add sample email)
  • Invite local community organizers (add sample email)
  • Send invitation to other online groups with community focus
  • Identify at least one community event to attend and pass out sign up sheet


  • Move items from "To Do" list to here as they are completed.

* Sign here (name and date) when complete

9) Organize a Kick-Off Event

You can make this as simple or elaborate as you like. Anything from a "happy hour" at local gathering place or party at someones home, to a more structured event with rented room and scheduled presentations.

* Sign here (name and date) when complete

10) Launch Forum

* Sign here (name and date) when complete


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