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[APRIL 2, 2013]
On your marks...Get set...GO!
Jon Jones will be star-spangled with speed as he makes his way down the streets of
Atlanta in this year’s Peachtree race. The AJC Peachtree Road Race has distinguished
itself as one of the premier Fourth of July traditions in Atlanta. With its festive
atmosphere, scenic city course and patriotic spirit, the event attracts runners from all
over - eager to take part in the July 4th celebration. On March 25th, Jones was selected
from a lottery of thousands of entrants to be a participant in the marathon. The AJC
Peachtree Road Race starts in Buckhead, near Lenox Square Mall, and ends in
Piedmont Park – passing through neighborhoods that Jones is vying to represent in
City Hall this November.
The Committee to Elect Jon Jones has also scheduled a pep rally for supporters in
Piedmont Park once he reaches the finish line. Flanked by members of the community,
Jones will deliver a speech at 1:00pm at the lake dockside in Piedmont Park, inviting members of the press and race participants to attend as he outlines his vision for direct democracy.
“It’s going to be an exciting opportunity for me to meet the people of this city, and run side-by-side with them as we honor our nation’s commitment to freedom and personal liberty,” Jones says, preparing to set off on the 6.2 mile race. The Independence Day marathon and press event will both be firsts for Jon Jones, marking the sprint phase of a race that pits him against incumbent Kwanza Hall for Atlanta City Council’s second district seat. Voters will head to the polls on November 5, 2013. The Fourth of July represents a checkpoint for the candidates, leaving 4 months until they reach the Election Day finish line.
For more information about the race, visit peachtreeroadrace.org
[MARCH 1, 2013]
Jon Jones will be attending a special “Meet the Candidate” Town Hall this month. The event - scheduled for Monday, March 18, 2013 - will be hosted by the Candler Park Neighborhood Organization. In 2012, Candler Park joined the group of 13 other neighborhoods comprising Atlanta’s second district after the passage of City Council’s redrawn district map. Jon Jones will welcome the residents of Candler Park into it the D2 community. Jones was invited to attend the gathering to give voters the opportunity to learn about Jon and his vision for Direct Democracy. The event will begin at 7:00pm inside the First Existentialist Congregation Old Stone Church at 470 Candler Park Drive NE, Atlanta, GA 30307. All are invited, and Jon Jones looks forward to introducing himself, answering any questions, and outlining his plan for Atlanta.
For a map to the event, click HERE.
[FEBRUARY 5, 2013]
“The movement to deliver Direct Democracy to Atlanta has officially begun,”
proclaims Jon Jones to a room of web developers and HTML 5 architects. Jones,
who is a candidate running in this year’s Atlanta City Council election, says his
primary goal is not about working in government – it’s about wanting to change
the way that government works. And if his rhetoric isn’t soaring enough for you,
you should listen to his ideas. If elected, Jones intends to institute a system of
“direct democracy”, which is a democracy in which the power to govern lies
directly in the hands of the people rather than being exercised through elected
Involving everyone in the nitty gritty of government “sausage making” seems like a lesson in chaos theory. Yet Jones contends that modern technology can be harnessed to make civic engagement simple and effective. “We bank online. We shop for food, clothes, and cars online. We even meet new people, and share pieces of our lives with them online. Why has our government not kept pace?” he asks of his programmers. Jones spends weeknights working with them to construct an online interface - loosely styled after social websites like Wikipedia and reddit.com – that will enable residents of his district to vote on bills, write legislation of their own, and propose changes to existing laws, all electronically.
Ideally, Jon Jones envisions a system wherein every initiative put up for debate in City Hall is debated by the general public first. With the belief that elected representatives are inherently susceptible to making decisions in their own self interest, Jones has stated often that this makes the current system of electing representatives flawed; and he pledges to never vote on a single bill without the consensus of his district.
Admittedly, a handful of the techies behind the project share a hint of skepticism. Yet every one of them, when asked in private, shared that they are completely devoted to making Jones' dream of a more-inclusive government happen. “I think it’s a good idea. I think we can build a civic/social network; and if it works, there’s no question that it could have larger implications,” Doug Cooley states outside of Jones’ campaign headquarters.
The system that Jones and team are building, or “ADDI” as they call it, is an acronym for the Atlanta Direct Democracy Interface. Still in its early development stage, Jones has released a non-functional beta version of the software to the public so that future users can get a sense what features ADDI will have (Test it at ATL-DDI.com). When asked what factors will make his campaign a success, Jones decisively answers, “the people.” Introducing a new idea to the electorate will likely be an uphill battle, as explaining the concept of Direct Democracy to unfamiliar voters will take a lot of resources. And getting a diverse constituency made up of elderly and low income residents to adopt internet technology borders on the impossible.
But Jones remains constant. He likens the plight of ADDI to other start-up websites like Facebook and Instagram - both social networks with modest beginnings, but which now boast international reach across millions of users. “I'm on a mission to make Atlanta the first American city with a Direct Democracy; but ultimately, that decision lies with the people.”
The election for the (District 2) City Council seat Jones wants to fill will be held on Tuesday, November 5, 2013.
[JANUARY 29, 2013]
Candidate Jon Jones and the Committee to Elect Jon Jones have officially registered with the Georgia Government Transparency & Campaign Finance Commission.
Beginning March 31st, 2013, the public will have access to all of Jones’ personal finance records, along with the comprehensive list of campaign contributors. Jon Jones pledges to run a government that promotes transparency to the citizens, and he has promised to run his campaign for Atlanta City Council’s 2nd District seat the same way.
The Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission (formerly known as the State Ethics Commission) is an agency that administers and enforces the provisions of the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Act (formerly known as the Ethics in Government Act).
With the information published, interested members of the public can visit the GGTCFC website to download reports detailing how each candidate collects and spends campaign contributions, who a candidate’s donors are, and the total sum of monies raised for the purpose of competing in elections.
You can visit the GGTCFC site at http://ethics.ga.gov/.
[DECEMBER 1, 2012]
Economists estimate that the average American will spend $700 on holiday gifts and goodies this year, totaling more than $465 billion. If that money were to be spent entirely on US made products, it would create 4.6 million jobs. But as American-made products become harder and harder to find, the likelihood the every gift that we buy will have "Made in USA" stamped on it is grim.
Luckily, it doesn't take much for us to make a large impact. If each American spent just $64 on US-made goods during our holiday shopping, the result would create 200,000 new jobs - many of which would be in the Atlanta, GA region.
With Atlanta's unemployment rate at 8.2%, Jon Jones pledges to do his part to create jobs in Atlanta. And he would like to compel all Atlantans to join him this holiday season in pledging to buy gifts from US manufacturers – totaling at least sixty-four dollars.
Together, we can get Atlanta working again!
[OCTOBER 23, 2012]
How many people does it take to change a light bulb?
One …if that person is Jon Jones, and if that light bulb is your idea of government.
Jones, a 25-year-old Atlanta resident, is running for City Council with the mission of fundamentally changing how government operates. Since America’s founding, its citizens have elected public officials to represent them in the legislative branches of local, state, and federal government. This age-old system is known as “representative democracy”. But Jones contends that, not only is this system inherently flawed, but that it is also wildly outdated. “We live in an age of instant communication. Why has our government not kept pace?” Jones asks.
And in terms of us living in an era of instant communication, he is right. Today’s generation of citizens are powered by laptops, smart phones, tablets, and constant access to the Internet. Data released Monday by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that in 2010, 75.9% of all households have access to the Internet. Fifteen years ago, when the Census Bureau first collected data on households with Internet access, only 18 percent of Americans lived in homes that could connect to the Web. The growth of business in the last 20 years has been driven by our ability to transfer information immediately, and to have unfettered access to information that would have been difficult or impossible to find previously.
Jones states, “We bank online. We shop for food, clothes, and homes online. We meet new people, and share experiences with them - all through technology.” He argues that government is the last remaining frontier for which people can use technology to make their lives more efficient. Jones envisions building a website that is part wiki, and part social network to make direct democracy a reality for Atlanta residents living in his district. His proposed website would allow residents to share documents and resources, hold discussions, announce events, write and propose legislation, vote on bills currently being considered by City Hall, and make changes to existing ordinances. If the project is successful, Atlanta would be the first American city to operate a direct democracy at the local level of government.
But this dream, for Jones, is an up-hill battle. As a candidate, Jones is overwhelmingly outmatched. The vote for the seat Jones is trying to fill doesn’t reach the ballot until November 5, 2013 – a whopping 14 months away. And to win the election, Jones would have to successfully unseat the current incumbent, Kwanza Hall. Hall, who has represented Atlanta’s 2nd District for the past 7 years, is extremely popular among his constituents, has close ties to the community, and boasts a campaign war chest valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Jones, on the other hand, is relatively new to politics, has just 12 volunteer campaign staffers, and The Committee to Elect Jon Jones has just under $1,000 in its ledger. With 16 months of campaigning, Jones argues that this is ample time to build an organization that can raise money, garner attention, and get his message to voters by November of next year. Jones, for the most part, has been a one-man operation: designing his own campaign’s website, creating all of the handout materials on his personal laptop, and even taking most of his campaign photos on a small digital camera. But like a person changing a light bulb, Jones believes that all it takes is one individual to start a movement. He adds, “And once the light bulb is on, it can light the way for the world to see.”
[JULY 4, 2012]