National Award Wins Philadelphia Forward Local Recognition

A pat on the back is always very nice and this week, Philadelphia Forward received a very nice local pat on the back for a very significant national award.  The Philadelphia Inquirer offered a story by blog-beat scribe Daniel Rubin about Philadelphia Forward receiving the 2005 Golden Dot Award as the nation's best local internet campaign by the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet.

When the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet gave its 2005 Golden Dot Award for the best local political campaign, Philadelphia Forward wasn't even in the house.  Accepting laurels for innovative Internet work were well-known players like MoveOn, Power Line and JibJab (those guys with the animated "This Land Is Your Land" satires) but not Philadelphia Forward and its staff of two paid workers committed to tax reform. [snip]

The night the awards from the George Washington University group were handed out Mandel was busy - he'd been testifying in City Hall on phasing out the business privilege tax.

Where some might still see a city of the corrupt and the contented, Mandel sees progress - the thousands who e-mailed Council in support of new ethics rules, those engaged in the site, the new ethics group called Pure, the Neighborhood Networks pro-change group. "While certainly there are a lot of people willing to walk to a polling place and be handed a ballot by a committeeman, increasingly there are Philadelphians who want change, and that is exciting in a city that needs change so desperately."  (Full Story )

According to the IPDI, "The Golden Dot Awards honor those who exhibited excellence in their use of the Internet as a political tool over the past year."  (Official Website)    


It is truly humbling to have Philadelphia Forward's work recognized alongside efforts like moveOn and jibjab that have become household names.  I still do not know if Philadelphia's political establishment is ready for this kind of citizen participation and activism, but we will do our best to make sure that our collective voice is heard.  When you read the note I received from Walt in Mayfair, you can understand why it is so important:

I feel this electronic media gives the "little-people" a voice to be heard and reckoned with. I have lived in Philadelphia all my life, but I never felt I had the ability to make a difference, until now. Your organization has shown me that even the smallest candle can burn bright in the dark. Keep up the wonderful work and light the way, as we move Forward with Philadelphia and its future!

The power of the individual is exponentially augmented through the use of Internet technology and Philadelphia Forward will continue to stand at the vanguard of the push for change.