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(4) Identify a steering committee)
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* [ E-Democracy.Org Team]
* [ E-Democracy.Org Team]
''* Sign here (name and date) when complete''
''* (In progress. Request for e-mail contact sent.  Michael Hyde 25-Feb-2009)''
==4) Identify a steering committee==
==4) Identify a steering committee==

Revision as of 20:54, 28 February 2009

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: Westborough Issues Forum

. . . . . . . . Name of Organizer: Michael Hyde

. . . . . . . . Date Started: 21-Jan-2009

(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.

* Michael Hyde 21-Jan-2009

You may also join our Projects] work space for all sorts of E-Democracy.Org volunteers/

3) Contact An E-Democracy.Org Organizer

If you have not already spoken with an E-Democracy.Org organizer, its probably time to let us know about your intentions and make sure that your project meets E-Democracy.Org guidelines.

* (In progress. Request for e-mail contact sent. Michael Hyde 25-Feb-2009)

4) 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 for public discussion

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

  1. Eric O (Student)
  2. - replace with name -
  3. - replace with name -
  4. - replace with name -
  5. - add lines if necessary -

* Sign here (name and date) when complete

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

Ask E-Democracy.Org to set up two forums. One will be an internal space where members of your steering committee can communicate. 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

6) Have a face to face meeting

It is best if your steering committee meets in-person at least once before launch (a conference call is an option). This gives you the opportunity to discuss the charter (the forum description/purpose/scope) and develop 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.)
    7. Assign other volunteer roles now or later. They include outreach, discussion starters (asking good questions or passing along a news links on at least a twice monthly basis to spark discussion), information seekers (those who share links to interesting local content (e.g. a new government report or local community event announcement), and greeters (people who welcome new members behind the scenes).

* Sign here (name and date) when complete

7) 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

8) Identify a forum manager

Some resources.

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

* Sign here (name and date) when complete

9) Recruit at least 100 participants

One hundred participants is the magic number for sustained dialogue and a broad sense of community ownership.

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

  • Draft an e-mail invite you and others can forward to others directing them to the website where they can join the forum
  • Create a paper sign up sheet (see template)
  • 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 circulate sign up sheet


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

* Sign here (name and date) when complete

10) 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

11) Launch Forum

* Sign here (name and date) when complete


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