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Building Online Communities for Citizen Engagement

Judith Freeman (New Organizing Institute), Cammie Croft (Department of Energy)
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Government agencies have historically cultivated online presences guided by transparency and information sharing. We assert that evolving online tools also provide the opportunity for creating new ways of empowering citizens and building relationships between government and citizen in online space. By wedding the principles of engagement, the fundamentals of organizing practice, with new media tools, government agencies can enter existing online communities, creating new forms of citizen engagement while building meaningful relationships with citizens.

Judith Freeman

New Organizing Institute

Judith is the co-founder and Executive Director of the New Organizing Institute, a training, research, and development organization for technology-enabled organizers, activists, staff, and leaders. In 2008 Judith worked on the Obama new media team, coordinating their field and new media efforts. Previously, she was the senior political strategist at the AFL-CIO, where she also co-founded the Analyst Institute. During the 2004 presidential election, she worked on the Kerry campaign’s internet operations. She advises political campaigns, unions, hill, government, and non-profit organizations on campaigns, organizing, targeting, strategy and technology infrastructure. She worked for five years in technology at the University of Chicago where she also organized with social justice organizations.

Photo of Cammie Croft

Cammie Croft

Department of Energy

Cammie Croft comes to the White House from the Obama-Biden Transition Project, where she served as the Deputy New Media Director, specializing in online communications. Prior to that, as the New Media Rapid Response Manager for the Obama for America campaign, she oversaw efforts to integrate new media and communications, including managing websites such as FighttheSmears.com and UndertheRadar.com. Before joining the campaign, Croft built the tracking and media monitoring program at Progressive Accountability, a rapid-response communications advocacy campaign that provided video of Republican Presidential candidates for the mass public. Croft also worked as the Rapid Response Mobilization Director for Americans Against Escalation in Iraq, where she led their new media efforts, working with MoveOn.org’s online tools to mobilize Americans opposed to the war. Croft holds a B.A. in Political Science and Communication from the University of Washington in Seattle, where she graduated with distinction. She is also an alumna of the New Organizing Institute (NOI), a unique online organizing forum for technologically-savvy, progressive campaigners.

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