Tag Archives: citizens

App of the Week – We The People

 we_the_people_logoAs citizens we can demand our government address our complaints. As a matter of fact that is one of the primary responsibilities of the government. You have the right to petition the government. You have a right to be heard and you have a right to expect a response. Thats is whyWe The Peopleis the App Website of the Week. (With the elections so close we made an exception.)

‘We The People’ is not a new app. Its a website. But the White House has upgraded its online petitions website for an increasingly mobile citizenry.  ‘We the People’ now makes it easier to file and sign a petition from smartphones and tablets. 

According to a White House Press Release the new site lets the citizen view, sign or create a petition in just a few, easy steps. “That means it’s also way simpler for people, no matter their age, location, or level of technical prowess, to participate in petitioning. That’s a critical step in ensuring that ‘We the People’ remains universally accessible.”

Following up on a 2015 White House promise to breathe new life into the system the White house has cleared a backlog of 20 petitions and has created a new target of issuing responses to citizens petitions in 60 days.

‘We The People’ kicked off 2011 to answer to constitutional right “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Any citizen can create a petition. If that petition gains the signatures of 100,000 fellow citizens the White House tries to respond.

‘The Counted’ Websites Tracks Cop Killings

Walter Scott was killed by South Carolina police

Walter Scott was killed by South Carolina police

Right now in America we are facing a serious problem. Citizens, especially African-Americans, are questioning the use of force by the police. It is no secret that far too many black people are being killed by police without cause. You have seen the results of these killings with rioting happening in big cities and small towns alike. It has to stop.

The most surprising fact you may not know is that there is no accurate count by federal agencies of the number of people killed by the police. To counter this problem TheGuardian.com news site has begun keeping its own count. The Counted is an online database that tracks the number of people killed by police. The website uses social media, local news reports, and public records to track and catalog the men and women killed by police in the U.S. According to the website there have been 479 deaths so far this year. Sadly the Guardian’s estimates are roughly twice those put out by the FBI.

Users of the website can search the site by specific names, race and ethnicity, state, gender, age, and cause of death. Another important feature of the database is that you can also search to see if the person killed was armed or unarmed.  The map feature reveals to the user which cities has the most police killings. Place your cursor over any of the yellow squares and see the name of the person killed in that city. Click on the square and see the details of the death.

Each person reported killed by the police and logged in the database has an information card detailing the circumstances of death and the status of his or her case with links back to the original source. Anyone can notify The Guardian of a killing on file or one not yet reported. Entries can be added, removed and revised as soon as new information becomes available.

The most striking feature of the website is the calendar layout and the images of those killed by the police. Users can see the killings by state and compare that number to the overall population. Click on any of the images to read the details of the death.

Police use of lethal force is a sad and sometimes unavoidable part of the their job. Its not always the cops fault when someone is killed. Please do not forget that. But at the same time we are seeing more and more cops killing people without reason. Case in point, the video tapped shooting of Walter ScottThe black South Carolina man was clearly running away from the police and posed no obvious threat to the cop or the community. We need to find a way to put an end to this and making sure we know who was killed and why is a start.

Now you know.