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From Death Stars to Guns, How 'We The People' Reveals the Mood of a Nation

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Since its inception in the fall of 2011, petitioners have advocated for many causes on the the White House's We the People petitioning system. Hundreds of thousands have signed the online petitions, ranging from those involving legalization of marijuana to a possible Death Star to funding a Jurassic Park-type destination. No matter the topic, when a petition reaches the 100,000-signature threshold, the White House will respond.

Nextgov correspondent Joseph Marks has been covering We the People for the technology site (and sibling site of GovExec). Marks says many are simply trying to get their causes out into the mainstream, but the site can also reflect the mood of the nation. Marks discusses the complications of the site, the nature of transparency in government and the way the White House deals with citizens.

Marks covers government technology issues, social media, Gov 2.0 and global Internet freedom for Nextgov. Follow him on Twitter at @Joseph_Marks_

Mark Micheli is Special Projects Editor for Government Executive Media Group. He's the editor of Excellence in Government Online and contributes to GovExec, NextGov and Defense One. Previously, he worked on national security and emergency management issues with the US Treasury Department and the Department of Homeland Security. He's a graduate of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs and studied at Drake University.

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