Reboot Alberta was started by Ken Chapman, Dave King, Don Schurman and Michael Brechtel who came up with the idea at a lunch meeting at Rigoloettos restaurant in the late summer of 2009. The concept was to invite some folks we all know and invite them to get together and see if anyone was really interested in finding and facilitating a progressive voice in Alberta’s politics. That was the question.
The answer from those people who were contacted was an overwhelming YES and Reboot Alberta was born. Reboot Alberta is an early-stage and emerging citizen’s movement of progressive thinking Albertans. It started in late November 2009 with the first gathering in Red Deer and the second gathering happened in Kananaskis at the end of February.
Over 540 individual Albertans have signed up so far at http://www.rebootalberta.org/. This group of individual citizens is now forming into a diverse on-line and real life like-minded community of citizens who are concerned about the future of Alberta and the political trends they see shifting the province too far to the reactionary right.
Coming out of the gathering in K-country was the request for a newsletter to keep people informed and to help organize local events under the Reboot Alberta banner in communities throughout Alberta. We did a short survey to get a clearer sense of what was wanted by Rebooters for the future of this citizen’s movement. Here are some of the key findings of the 100 survey participants and it moves Reboot Alberta into the next stage.
Communications Key to Reboot Alberta as a Citizen's Movement:
Two newsletters have been sent out so far and 87% of Rebooters are reading them with 65% wanting it to come by email to them on a monthly basis but with they what other emailed information on more current events and issues.
According to 60% the newsletter should be used to connect Rebooters to interesting community events and progressive websites and 87% want more of this kind of content in the newsletter. The newsletter information is used by 57% of Rebooters in their conversations with others about Reboot Alberta and issues of citizen engagement. This is not surprising when you consider that 88% of Rebooters are Influentials and 86% are Cultural Creatives. They are natural connectors. The desire for a continuing sense of community amongst progressive thinking Albertans is obvious from these numbers.
Making it Relevant but Local and Provincial at the Same Time:
In terms of local community events for progressives to get together there are 75% who have not yet contemplated organizing such a meeting using Tweet-Ups or Meet-Ups but 60% want to know how to do it and 70% want tips on how to find other progressive thinking Albertans in their communities.
If there are going to be help in organizing local gatherings and events for Rebooters and other progressives, 67% wanted suggestions on topics and questions to be the focus of such meetings and 57% want updated information on those questions concerns and issues to be provided by Reboot Alberta too.
Sustaining Reboot Alberta Focus and Momentum is a Key Issue:
How to sustain Reboot Alberta is a fundamental question too and 85% said it was acceptable for the organization to accept donations to help lower event costs, administer the organization like maintaining the website and keeping up the communications. Province-wide face to face gatherings are important to Rebooters and 42% want them to happen twice a year, 23% want it annually and 22% want to have larger events three times a year.
Reboot is About Influence and Issues but Not About Political Parties:
As to what Reboot Alberta should focus its efforts on going forward 79% of survey participants want it to organize and sponsor issues oriented political and public policy events. Some 73% say Reboot Alberta should be a citizens-based political movement to communicate with Albertans and politicians. There is an obvious desire to influence public policy considering 63% want Reboot Alberta to advertise and advocate on public policy issues of concern to progressives. This is not to be done in a partisan context as only 24% of Rebooters want to promote political parties or platforms and 38.5% are in favour of supporting individual candidates, regardless of party affiliation.
So the future direction being dictated by these survey results are pretty clear. There are new faces and new energy being brought to Reboot Alberta all the time. This growing movement is intent on making Reboot Alberta a force for the common good of Alberta. It is focused on making a difference with a non-partisan citizen-based approach and promoting progressive perspectives on public policy issues. Of course you can ask what those progressive public policy issues are. That will be decided on a decentralized basis by Rebooters self-selcting amongst themselves over time.
Suffice to say Reboot Alberta is not going to be a political party but a way of thinking and an approach to political culture based on a consistent values set of like-minded progressive Albertans. We have the results of another conjoint survey of Rebooters that shows us what are those progressive values. I will be doing a series of blog posts on Rebooters this coming week and will clarify those progressive values. I will also shed some light on what is progressive thinking in Alberta in a 21st century context.
I encourage all Albertans who are concerned about the future of Alberta and see the issues in terms of an integrated economic, environmental, social, political and even spiritually you will find your tribe at Reboot Alberta. So join in the Reboot Alberta citizen's movement and sign up at http://www.rebootalberta.org/. It is time to re-engage and assert your citizenship once again.