(To Governor Davis' Office on Technology)

Subject: Outline - Internet assistance in solving energy crisis
Date: 6/6/01

Thanks for the opportunity to present this preliminary proposal, as requested by Dianne Fiori. I hope it will be of great interest and that we can go forward together in developing the idea and to a successful solution of the crisis.

1. The proposal is to use the Internet and new IT techniques to aid government in resolving the energy crisis. This would be in addition to the extensive government and private information sources already on- line, and possibly integrated therewith.

2. Present participants are Vivarto Technologies, Safevote, Inc. and The Electric City Society. Here are the URLs (note that The Electric City Society is in the process of formation and does not yet have an official Website):

Safevote Inc.

Vivarto Technologies

Note that the two companies are affiliated; Safevote, Inc. is located in San Rafael. Broadest participation of all interested parties and those economically affected will be actively sought and encouraged.

Here is a comment from Safevote CEO Ed Gerck:

"Safevote is happy to be invited to participate in this project, not only for its immediate relevance to our State but also as an example of technological leadership favoring social development."

3. This is a trailblazing effort, I think, and will probably undergo considerable modification as the project proceeds. Indeed, the same E - processes could also be used to develop the project itself.

4. This proposal's details could include:
a. Invite as many ideas to resolve the crisis from all parties as possible and post them using Vivarto Net Conferencing software. Include all present proposals and actions by government and others.

b. Conduct free and open discussion of all the proposals by any interested parties using Vivarto technology.

c. Select by vote or poll the most desirable alternatives and have them benefit/cost analyzed by objective, highly respected experts - such as university groups, research institutes, the Legislative Analyst's Office, and the like.

d. Present the complex data in most easily and quickly understood form for the public, through maximum use of graphics, simulations, etc.

e. Appeal to the greatest number of California voters and interest groups so that a significant cross section will participate.

f. Conduct a secure vote of California residents only - when the participants were ready - using Safevote technology. This could rank order the top preferences or be a yes/no vote.

g. Present results to government and all interested parties.

h. Continue and update the process.

5. This process should produce the optimum value solution or solutions. This would not only benefit the public, but would assure government that its policies were indeed correct. This would remove much of the risk from the present process by assuring public satisfaction.

6. While this process is essentially the same as that employed now by conventional methods, Internet technology can speed up and improve the process by:
a. Fully informing citizens of all options and including benefit/cost analysis - more efficiently. This should lead to better results. Present polling and feedback systems do not include the full information features.

b. Managing public feedback more efficiently, thus avoiding E-mail, fax and regular mail overload.

7. Government participation and support of this project would aid its credibility, assist in building the widest possible coalition of interested and affected parties. Innovative use of new technologies could be encouraged. California IT industries could be showcased. These industries, presently experiencing a downturn, could be stimulated. The program could help close the Digital Divide, placing Net terminals in public buildings and kiosks for all to participate in the process. People could be urged to increase use of the Internet to solve social problems hereafter.

8. The project could become a test model for future applications and refinements. Other problems dealt with in the future could include future growth (the system could to lead to genuinely Smart Growth, for instance), producing environmental sustainability and so on.

9. Similar software products could be tested and compared on parallel projects.

We look forward to your response with anticipation.

John Suhr
The Electric City Society