Vision for America is an effort to share ideas for our nation's future. The mission is to create a citizen-inspired advocacy and outreach organization that builds an open-source style platform -- that everyone is invited to help create.

This website in the early phases of development but is now able to offer citizens a page on VisionForAmerica.com to share your vision for the future we want. This domain (.org) will be dedicated to the organization that forms from this effort.

This cause is being started by Ben Mater, founder of Earthwaves Media, a media and marketing agency dedicated to helping progressive, environmental and humanitarian causes around the globe.

Please consider making a donation -- every dollar is very appreciated and put towards costs directly in building this effort.


"Vision for America is an idea for all citizens to take part in, to have a voice in our collective decisions, to establish real democracy. We do not need political parties to divide us any longer. Ideas must overcome ideology. It is time for citizens to take responsibility for our future and become involved in our nation's destiny. When we work together, anything is possible."


A note by Ben Mater, founder

What you are seeing here on VisionForAmerica.com is a 'proof-of-concept' of just the first step of this effort to spark an organized dialog on what the vision for our nation can become. I'll have more details soon (and below as I'll be posting more to this page), but the heart of the matter is creating actual democracy. Sharing good ideas and working together to implement solutions.

What I envision is a dedicated media/marketing organization forming around this effort that works to raise awareness on what can effectively become an umbrella movement. I foresee this helping many different causes and organizations. And perhaps most importantly, it can inspire people. This is an idea to hear ideas. What is Vision for America? You tell me. THAT is what this is really about.

While at the moment I am working on this by myself, I'd like to invite anyone who would like to contribute to join me. (I could use some help in creating a multitude of 'issues' or 'solutions' pages). This will be volunteer effort in this first phase. My goal is to create (and fund) a dedicated organization that acts as project management and media agency on behalf of everyone. Perhaps something like a publicly funded 'Ad Council' that works to grow this collective movement. Vision for America can be an umbrella brand that helps raise all boats. An open-source effort that can become what the community wants it to be (have some specific tech details how that can be accomplished).

Very soon I will be hitting the streets with my camera to do interviews based on asking a powerful question: What is YOUR vision for the nation?

Where this effort is different (I believe) is that instead telling you, this is asking you. Asking everyone. Perhaps before we can truly listen, we need to be heard. Vision for America can -- it will -- become a platform for all voices. Ideas over ideology. A collective vision for out future, that we all have a part in creating.

Hopefully this has you excited! This is a call for patriots to overcome partisans and begin a national movement to create an ‘open-source’ platform — a physical form of a vision for our nation — that all citizens can be a part of creating.

I want to see my country become a true democracy. A nation where citizens are in control of our destiny. Our republic was formed in the age when we traveled on horses. It’s time for an upgrade! While our nation is relatively young, we have one of the oldest forms of government on the planet. In these modern times we have tools that have rendered the republic outdated and a hinderance to making progress. It’s time we stop outsourcing democracy to politicians. And to make progress today, we need CITIZENS in office— not partisans who put their own greed and interests ahead of the nation.

It’s time to let ideas overcome ideology.

This is a call for voices. And from dialog and honest communication I believe anything is possible when we find common ground and work together.

Let the age of moving past labels of “liberal” or “conservative” begin right now! Anyone who calls out an enemy is not your friend.

We are all human beings, with a diverse range of interests and passions. We can disagree on many things, but we can also agree on many more and not let artificial divides keep us from working together.

SO LET’S DO THIS.

Join in. Make your voice heard.

Democracy begins with you.

-bm

......

A note about the current website:

Again what you are seeing here is a live proof-of-concecpt, that has a simple foundation to build from. I've explored/demo'ed a few options like WordPress but ran into issues that were taking much longer than what I can do with standard html code. My background is in marketing, design, photography and front-end web development. My goal is to begin funding to establish a dedicated 'agency' that works to create an (obviously) more sophisticated site with built-in tools; thus the basic html template to add a page. However I've set the coding up so it will be quite easy to import anything created now into future versions.

One of the most important aspects of the site will be how dialog happens. In the prospectus (in progress) there will be a proposed model for a "weighted value" system that helps give good ideas and honest voices a bigger spotlight. Factors like your involvement, public and peer feedback can carry over into how your voice is heard (such as physical placement/size/order), as well as voting weight on creating the VFA Platform (more details about that soon as well). EVERYONE gets an opportunity to speak. The goal is to help minimize disruptive actors while shining the spotlight on good ideas. Patriots will shine over partisans.

BUT... for now the site will be using Facebook comments. This hopefully will be a good starting place, as profiles are public (thus helping to identify obvious trolls or paid 'Correct the Record' type-hacks). Links to other websites can be included, and in this stage even comments can become valuable for sharing information; comments can become pages. A sorting of "top" can help gauge good ideas (via number of Likes) or "newest" can help find new comments as pages start getting busy. Guess we'll find out as this moves along.

I'm being realistic and don't foresee a whole lot of public traffic or use of the site in this early phase. This is not for everyone. This is for leaders. People are mostly in a herd and need to be lead. But instead of to the slaughterhouse, the nation can be lead to a new path towards ACTUAL democracy. A nation that doesn't just talk of peace and prosperity, but is working on a large scale to make good ideas happen. Of course our elections (and the control of the goverment) is a big factor. This is a political effort to end politics.

 

Misc project notes

Platform -- core foundation of effort. Open-source styled platform such as used by political parties open for all citizens to help create (via voting weighted system). This is the physical manifestation of the 'vision for the nation'. Example: Sustainability

Initiatives -- organized efforts to support or enact a Platform element or grouped items. Example: Lower carbon footprint of agriculture.

Campaigns -- advocacy/outreach/marketing efforts to help enact Initiatives. Create a: page/site - blog - article - report - video - gallery - press release - advertisement - crowdfunder. There can be as many campaigns as needed within an Initiative. Example: Campaign to promote healthy eating to lower carbon footprint.

In the early phases of this effort, the goal is to help support existing campaigns and organizations. Over time, new campaigns can be created in the Vision for America media infrastructure, and benefit from the ongoing marketing of the effort at large.

While a primary aspect of this effort is to empower citizen voices such as through the site's tools and outreach/media programs, the goal is to build a dedicated organization that works alongside of individuals to provide 'agency' type support. For example, a team designers can be dedicated to help create graphics and pages when needed. The organization works to assist or directly manage Campaigns as defined by Initiatives that work to fulfill the stated values of the Platform created by the community at large. That sums it up right there.

.....

I think one of the most exciting aspects, at least technically, will be how there can be interaction between something like a news article (published on the site) which can include 'voting support' for an Initiative, Campaign action item or an element of the Platform . The idea isn't just to talk about an issue, but to take action and accomplish something (both digitally and physically). A single news article can inspire a wave of activism. (Will have a demo of how this works soon.)

As an example of how the 'user weight' works: for the author of an article with a lot of positive feedback (via plus/minus scale) the 'points' carry over into the author's own voting value. Everyone has a base value of 1. But through doing positive things the system provides a reward of a higher value in future vote scoring such as on a platform item or legislative item. Your vote can become more powerful. This is 'direct weighted democracy.'

An individual's voting value will be set by factors like the amount of involvement and public/group/peer reviews (such as comments, comments on comments) factored with various values such as time ranges and total community averages. I've never made anything like this before (not sure anyone has actually) but I have a sketch of how it would be calculated. NationBuilder (an organization and effort I highly support and can see becoming a part of this) uses a point system for users along the lines of what I'm proposing. But simply creating a lot of points doesn't reflect value, something that is at heart of the model.

A working sample outline (Feb 21)

(I removed the links from the site menu, but you can access the Platform page from this site.)

Platform: Democracy -- we should have it!

Initiative: Citizens Congress -- a third branch of Congress

Campaign: "United We Vote" -- democracy done digitally -- citizens can vote on bills in Congress, join committees. A 'virtual' citizen Congress. Outreach/lobbying to Congress; PR/marketing/media.

....

Have you seen any other ideas like this? Good!

The goal here is to be just one defined effort -- a specific brand -- as part being part of larger social movements such as creating a sustainable planet or having (actual) democracy and human rights. Vision for America can be a part of supporting other causes and organizations. Perhaps just creating a 'vision for America' can become it's own micro-movement in itself. And if you haven't seen the links yet, this is just one of the communities within the Vision for Earth network, which I aim to expand this effort of citizen empowerment globally. Hopefully my vision holds up -- lots of screen time in for me.

Thanks for reading and checking out the site!


 

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Vision for America (.com site)

Our Revolution
Democracy Now!
Citizens Take Action
Socialist Alternative
Real Progressives
Bill Moyers & Company
Truth-Out
The Resistance
Swing Left
Backbone Campaign
The Free Thought Project
Redacted Tonight
Green Party US
ThinkProgress
Rewire
350.org
CredoAction
Defenders of Wildlife
Other98
Bioneers
Center for Biological Diversity
Mother Jones
Common Dreams
libertarian Party
The American Prospect
Daily Kos
The Progressive
Center for American Progress
In These Times
The Nation
Brand New Congress
FreePress.net
TruthDig
AntiWar.com
Ron Paul Institute
OurFuture.org
Counter Punch
AlterNet
The Jimmy Dore Show
EcoWatch
ACLU
PR Watch
Grist
Avaaz
Huff Post Voices
Nation of Change
Ulection.com
OpenSecrets.org
=
turnoutpac.org
greenpeace
liberty tree foundation
mercy for animals
farm sanctuary
Code Pink
OCA
ccrjustice.org
whistleblowers.org
Earth Justice
NRDC
League of Conservation Voters
Democrats
GOP
SIIP
People's Defense
People's Defense
MoveOn.org
Standup America!
Every voice
People for the American Way
BoldProgressives.org
Ultra Violet
Working Families
Lambda Legal
Demos
TYT
counterpropa
politico
Town Hall Project
NextGen Climate
The Laura Flanders Show
Emerge America
Run For Something
The Nation Institute
the investigative fund
Tom Dispatch
Run For Office
Let America Vote
Justice Democrats
Environment America
Food and Water Action Fund
Vox The Big Idea
Vision for America is providing the above links not as explicit endorsement but for the sake of democracy and hearing all voices. Maybe we can find there isn’t such divide in our nation after all we take some time to actively listen and find common ground. THAT is a vision for America.