It’s a tale of two parties, two social networks, live events and high stakes: creating jobs in an American economy still struggling to come out of recession. Would the American Jobs Act, introduced by President Obama earlier this month, make a difference? Can the White House or Congress do anything to create jobs, aside from directly hiring more government workers for infrastructure projects or similar initiatives? The American people will have the opportunity to hear from both sides of the aisle today and judge themselves, starting at 2 PM EST when the president will participate in a town hall hosted at LinkedIn in California.
UPDATE: Archived video from President Obama’s LinkedIn townhall is embedded below:
Notably, there will still be a live chat on Facebook at a LinkedIn townhall, along with a public “backchannel” at the #meetopportunity hashtag on Twitter.
This is the second time that the White House experiments with LinkedIn for questions, following a forum earlier this year with tech CEOs and federal CTO Aneesh Chopra. The questions are pulled from a “putting America back to work forum on LinkedIn.com. As I’ve observed before, the platform isn’t ideal for ideation and moderation of questions but LinkedIn is unquestionably targeted towards employment.
Personally, I’d like to see CEO Jeff Weiner crunch the big data the social network has collected about job openings and the skills and degrees that high school and college grads currently have. Programs and policies oriented towards matching the two would be an interesting direction.
UPDATE: Here are the questions that were asked:
- What can we do as American citizens to unite ourselves and help the economy?
- What can you do for senior citizens looking for a job, and what’s going to happen to Social security and Medicare?
- What are you going to do to lessen the regulations and taxation on small businesses?
- What programs do you think should be in place for individuals to learn new job skills, be in demand, marketable and eventually get hired?
- How do you envision the government’s role in integrating networking tools that aid veterans that are leaving the service and getting jobs?
- “Thank you, Mr. President. I don’t have a job, but that’s because I’ve been lucky enough to live in Silicon Valley for a while and work for a small startup down the street here that did quite well. So I’m unemployed by choice. My question is would you please raise my taxes?” ?
- First, do you think our public education system and our unemployment rates are related? And second, what, if any, overhaul in education is necessary to get Americans ready for the jobs of tomorrow, rather than the jobs of 20 years ago?
- What would you be your statement of encouragement for those who are looking for work today?
UPDATE: Below is a “storified” tweetstream from the event:
House GOP Leaders discuss technology, transparency and jobs
At 6 PM EST, the leaders of the Republican caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives will also host an online townhall, though they’ll be doing it on Facebook Live. The event will feature House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California and Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg will moderate.
Prior to today’s event, the House GOP leaders participated in a discussion about the role social media and technology now plays in government with Politico’s senior White House correspondent, Mike Allen. Video is below:
In the interview, the House GOP’s “Young Guns” spoke at length about the role that new social and mobile technology plays in the work of Congress and government, touching upon many subjects that will be of interest to the open government community.
Such interest is hardly new — the new GOP majority came into the House with promises to embrace innovation and transparency— but given the importance of open government, it’s a useful reminder that open government is a bipartisan issue.
If you have thoughts or comments on either of the town halls or the discussion above, please share them in the comments.
UPDATE: The archived video of this congressional “Facehall” is embedded below:
UPDATE: A Storify of my own tweets during the event is embedded below: