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A Proposal to Assemblyman John Vasconcellos  8/25/91

John,                                                                        

I think you are "right on" to seek a new human politics and I trust you know how much I agree with the merits if not always the centrality of the issues you have brought to the forefront.  However, in my view the issues of the new politics are only one part of the equation, the other and perhaps equally important is the overall relationship that emerges between the people participating.  In other words if we could jump 20 years down the road and take an aerial view of the new politics one of its most obvious differences from the old would be the degree to which the "WE THE PEOPLE" part were actually engaged in doing it - indeed that the very idea of "political participation" had been transformed.

We have spoken in the past of my belief that the future of politics will be dramatically changed by the role of technology.  Not just technology as an issue - technology as a significant force in the mediation of collaboration and dialogue about issues. I believe technology is destined to mediate  a heretofore impossible relationship between "representatives" and the "represented" - one that provides the people represented meaningful ways to participate (to think and feel included - value adding) while redefining the representative as a leader/facilitator of the dialogically focused collaboration based activities. 

Given the fact that your matrix of relationships includes IBM, Apple, Tandem, H.P., Next, Pac Bell, Cal Leadership, Lou's work on collaboration, Tom Peters, Bill Isaacs - that you represent a district known throughout the world for its technical leadership - (in short that you have access to the world's leading resources on computing, communications, organizational design, collaboration, team learning & dialogue) it seems to me that you should convene these resources and propose the pioneering project of developing and locally testing  (modeling for the state and the world) an entirely new relationship between yourself and your constituents. Somebody is going to do it. Given your ambitions and your connections and your district there is no one better situated anywhere in the world to catalyze this experiment.

I think you should propose this endeavor at your upcoming gala. I think it's the right call to action to engage many of your supporters - that its both relevant and future oriented. John, I don't think this takes anything away from the issues you have worked so hard to champion. On the contrary if you can help facilitate a dialogical/collaborative model for allowing people to share in the political process, a healthier, esteeming state can't help but emerge.

David

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