JANUARY 20, 1997

 The Edwards Agency

Opinion

Editorial

An opportunity for our community

editorial Our community has an opportunity to participate in a citizen network research program at home that would increase communication between citizens and elected political leaders.
   Dick Spady, a scholar and owner of Dick's Drive-In Restaurants, has formed the Forum Foundation. Using a new theory and communication technology, the Forum Foundation has volunteers sign up as councilors and register under a category, such as citizen, civic, student, business, or ecumenical.
   The councilor gathers three other people to participate in an at-home meeting to discuss pressing national, and if submitted, community issues. Using "socialware" technology, a machine-scannable response sheet is provided to each participant. After discussion, a value-scale response, such as "strongly agree, neutral, disagree," or "strongly disagree" is entered on the sheet, which is mailed back to the Forum Foundation. After all opinions are scanned on a computer, the resulting data is given to public officials as valid testimony.
   The first issue will be "Welfare Reform," and will be sent out in February or March. The form has rrom for additional questions from the community. Our community has an opportunity to try this. The first 500 are free. After that, there will be a charge of $20 or less to cover costs. Send your name, address, the category you wish, and your phone number to GS-CCN Subscription; Forum Foundation; 4427 Thackery Place NE; Seattle, WA 98105. For further information, call 206-634-0420.