Memo to the Netroots on Civil Justice
In his video-address to Netroots Nation participants, Senator Barack Obama commented that: “This is one of those moments in our history when we have a chance to create a real grassroots movement and lay the groundwork for a lasting progressive future.”
But in order to lay the groundwork effectively, progressives have to work together to create a blueprint in which we all believe. So what do we believe in? And are we maximizing our efficacy in making these beliefs known?
One issue that should be of top priority to progressive bloggers and blog readers is fighting for civil justice and access to the courts for ordinary Americans. Progressive bloggers felt the exhilarating rush of our potential and power to mobilize on this issue as we organized against the FISA legislation that protects telecommunications corporations that may have illegally spied on innocent Americans. The heavy blow we felt from the legislative loss on this front is by no means the end of our struggle. If anything, it demonstrates how important it is that we understand the FISA situation as it fits into a larger set of issues related to access to the courts and our civil justice system.
Which gets me to the part about making our beliefs known... At the 2008 Netroots Nation Convention, DMI helped launched an important discussion about expanding the fight for civil justice and access to the courts—the fight to ensure that the civil legal system works effectively for ordinary Americans and is not just a game rigged in favor of large, powerful corporations. I was unable to moderate the panel. So my contribution will be to make sure we keep the dialogue going. In that spirit, I'm sharing a comprehensive memo on how progressive bloggers can continue to take on civil justice issues online and inspire more grassroots organizing around these issues offline.
The Memo to the Netroots on Civil Justice discusses how to get progressive bloggers more involved in this conversation and in offline strategizing to achieve access to justice for ordinary Americans. Check it out on TortDeform.Com.
Also, soon to come: video from the Netroots Nation Convention and some guest posts from others who participated on or attended the panel. In the mean time, I look forward to your comments on the memo. How can progressives shape the dialogue about our legal rights so that we can influence policies that affect access to the courts?