real democracy for NYC: a campaign for modern day citizen lawmaking

You'd like to witness a signature, but don't quite know how to go about it. Here are some possibilities:


A. All business (with friend or stranger)

You: Are you registered to vote in the city?

Them: Yup.

You: I ask because forty-five thousand of us can petition to put an amendment to the city charter on the ballot, so I'm/we're helping to collect the signatures to create a modern-day citizen lawmaking process.

Them: Hm. Meaning what?

You: Say you have an idea for a local law... you could propose it in a citizens' forum online... choose who could help you draft it... everybody would have access to formulating the arguments for and against the proposal, and vetting the evidence for those arguments... and if enough people supported your idea with electronic signatures, it would be put on the ballot for us all to vote on.

Them: Where do I sign?


B. The plug (with friend)

You: Hey, I saw this interesting little documentary online. I'd be curious what you think of it. It's at

(a few days later)

Them: ...I did like learning about some of that history. Are you involved in any of that?

You: Aren't we all? Sign here!


C. Keeping it real

Them: Hmm, interesting. What about [concern X] ?

You: That's a good point. Let's see if the website addresses it, I think there's an FAQ somewhere. Otherwise we should ask them directly.


D. Whenever they're signing

You: Great! Your signature goes on top...

Them: Okay..

You: Because historically it's been really difficult to get a city charter amendment on the ballot by petition, we're splitting this one in two, so that each half has a better chance in court. The upshot is you need to sign twice. The one you're signing now is about expanding the people's ability to make law directly to any local law (that doesn't violate state or federal law). The other half is all about using the technology we have these days to make that citizen lawmaking process more accessible, collaborative, deliberative, informed, and less money driven.

Them: Uh-huh. Thanks for doing this.

You: You should, too! It's fun. The numbers are overwhelming, but if we each just pass it on to a couple of people, and they do the same...


The Goal
The Plan

Petition Forms
Proposal Texts & Summaries

More Ways to Take Part
Join in


Brought to you bylowercase d

This campaign is on ice.. Petitions and future volunteer sign-ups welcome in freezer, along with related inquiries.