[ I invited Chad to post this here because I thought it might inspire similar online organizational entries by other states and regions. This could be an invaluable tool that centralizes information. And –> Chad would like to know if any of you in other states are undertaking similar projects. — susanhu]

Democracy for Washington has a tool that I would like to invite people to help with.  You know about Wikipedia.  You probably know about Dkosapedia, which is a wiki set up for national elections.  Well, Washington State has our own wiki site which needs your help to get filled in.

The Washington State Elections Encyclopedia is a grassroots effort to track the political climate in Washington State, including candidates for state and local elections, issues and how they affect our state, how the government works and how people can get involved.  Please join the effort!
When I was building the Democracy for Washington website last year, I looked outside the box of basic political campaign websites, blogs and mailing lists and asked myself what tools we could use to collect information, gather our grassroots strength, and act on that information.  I took inspiration from Wikipedia and Dkosapedia, and decided to install a wiki system alongside the Drupal/CivicSpace and flat-file pages that I had been building during 2003 & 2004.  I looked at which ones were easy to install and decided on PmWiki.  It’s simple to use, and keeps track of changes much like MetaWiki systems do.  I hope to upgrade it to a more current version or even a different engine someday, but I need to wait until it gets more popular to make sure that it’s worth it.

I just finished putting up pages for the 2006 election, and I’m working with a few people to try and fill in the blanks.  Please help us out, and also let me know if there are similar systems for other states.  Diversity is our strength, and will not keep us divided if we stay in contact with each other.  That’s how our movement will grow, and we will never stop growing.

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