Now You Can Byte Your Congressman
ACTIVISTS ARE BEING asked to let their computer mice do the marching. Two nonprofit groups, Economic Security 2000 Action and Third Millennium, are sponsoring a cyberspace demonstration, an event called "the Billion Byte March." The effort, slated to kick off next month and end in early December, is aimed at pressuring Congress and the Clinton Administration to save the Social Security system by combining a form of the existing system with government-issued savings accounts for individuals.
The sponsors hope to rally support from grassroots organizations, think tanks, and business trade groups such as the National Association of Manufacturers, which could encourage thousands of its members to join in. The goal is to enlist 250,000 to 1 million people to write individual E-mails, says Hillary Beard, executive director of Economic Security 2000 Action. "Nobody's really figured out how to use the Net effectively yet for political organizing," Beard says. This byte-march, she says, will be "a political experiment."
Participants will register at the group's Web site, www.march. org. Registration forms will be sorted by zip code and sent to the appropriate senators and representatives, with copies to President Clinton. The event will be "monitored" by volunteer "march marshals," who will contact co-workers, friends, and neighbors and ask them to sign up 100 other people. A new form of spam? Not quite, says Beard: "We're hoping for a new kind of access."