Calling All Livable Streets Activists and Organizers

uncle_sam.jpgThe Open Planning Project (the producers of Streetsblog and Livable Streets Groups) is looking to enlist the help of neighborhood
activists, community organizers, and grassroots leaders to help us
build the next generation of online organizing tools.

Are you trying to organize for change in your neighborhood, town, or
city? Are you trying to take advantage of the internet to do so?

If so, we’d love to pick your brain to find out what tools and
techniques you’re employing and how they’re working for you. Our aim is
to create an online toolset that makes community organizing and
grassroots activism easier and more effective.

Simply filling out this form will be enormously helpful to us. We’d also like to have more in-depth
conversations, either in person or by phone or email. If you’re interested, let us know. We’re eager to
learn all we can about your goals, strategies, and challenges.

Or, go for it in the comments section.  Here’s what we’d like to know:

  • What goals are you/your group trying to accomplish?
  • What tech tools are you currently using to further those goals? (to organize, recruit, mobilize, lobby, publicize, etc.)
  • Of those, which have been the most useful? The least?
  • What functionality do you NOT have that you would most like to have?


  • Amanda

    My community garden has been using Open Plans to aggregate some of our documents and a compost project I work on uses Open Plans to share documents and manage lists. Among the things we could really use:

    * The ability to add people directly to a discussion list. I know there are good reasons not to allow this, but every time someone wants to get involved I have to invite them to the list and the invitation gets them as far as creating a login on Open Plans and people have a hard time getting all the way onto our lists.

    * The ability to hide some documents from public view. There are a lot of files we’d like to make generally available to the public and a few, like our contact sheets with everyone’s name and number that we’d like to limit access to. These aren’t top secret documents, just files we don’t want to have indexed on search engines.

  • Peter

    * Lightweight Project Management – a la Basecamp.

    …combined with…

    * Lightweight Contact Management/CRM – a la Highrise.

    Other potential nice-to-haves:

    Tools to facilitate face-to-face meetings – a la Meetup.

    Ability to publish to public-facing website – a la Google Sites (wiki functionality). Ideally with way to support own unique domain name.

    Internal wiki-style pages to keep notes about some particular topic as I research it. I should be able to embed text, links, images, maps, etc.

    Voting/polling widget.

    Fund-raising widget.

    Ability to embed google widgets, especially Google Maps, videos, streetfilms, etc.

    Calendar integration.

    Permissions structure to allow for a number of people to babysit particular aspects of the effort – email lists, public-facing website typos, etc.

  • This is great! Thank you.

  • Here’s a piece I wrote in the fall sketching out a collaborative and dynamic uber-tool for organizing and also resource sharing along the lines of what you’re talking about…


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