About

Solon the Law Giver

Statue of Solon representing “Law” in the Library of Congress Jefferson Building, Washington, DC. Other statues represent Religion, History, Art, Philosophy, and Science. Solon ruled Athens in the 6th Century BC and is often credited as the founder of Greek democracy.

Mission

To develop and advocate reforms where elected officials have an institutionalized conflict of interest with the American public.

Primary Project

As of 2013, iSolon.org’s primary project has been providing state-by-state information clearinghouses regarding upcoming periodic state constitutional convention referendums. iSolon also maintains a central information clearinghouse for the fourteen U.S. states with such periodic referendums.

Overview

Founded in 2007, iSolon seeks to bring paradigm-changing ideas on the policy implications of new information technologies to the fore of public discussion.  New information technologies are creating great opportunities for democratic reform that are not being exploited because elected officials have a conflict of interest in using those technologies to make themselves more democratically accountable.

iSolon explores how that conflict plays out in the design of democratic institutions and analyzes mechanisms, including the use of state constitutional conventions, to address conflict of interest problems.  In recent years, iSolon has shifted from a focus on legislative transparency and redistricting to state constitutional conventions.

iSolon sees as one of its distinctive advantages in comparison with other public policy institutions that it can take a long term perspective.  As Stanford University Professor Rob Reich has written about the potential advantages of such a perspective: “The institutional design of foundations allows them to operate on a different time horizon than the marketplace and the government…. They can use their resources to identify and address potential social problems decades away or innovations the success of which might be apparent only over a longer time horizon. In short, unlike the marketplace and the state, foundations can “go long.” iSolon pegs its reform agenda to current events, but its focus on fixing the constitutional mechanisms for reforming the constitutional foundations of our democracy is also “foundational” in the Reichian sense of the term.

iSolon is a non-profit, non-partisan, tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Staff

J.H. Snider
President

Board

J.H. Snider
President, iSolon.org

Solon Snider
Musical Director, Yale Whiffenpoofs

Terra Snider
Executive Director, Start School Later

Board Emeritus

Micah Altman
Director of Research, Program on Information Science for the MIT Libraries, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

David Farrell
Professor of Politics, University College Dublin

Oliver Hall
Director,  Center for Competitive Democracy

Robert Martineau
Professor of Law, Emeritus, University of Cincinnati

Carol Beach
Former Speech Writer, First Lady Hillary Clinton

Gerald Benjamin
Professor of Political Science, State University of New York (SUNY)

Christopher Bopst
Partner,  Goldberg Segalla LLP

Peter J. Galie
Professor of Political Science, Emeritus, Canisius College

Paul Hyland
Chief Technology Officer, Editorial Projects in Education

Sheila Krumholz, Secretary of the Board
Executive Director, Center for Responsive Politics

Christopher Sands
Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute

Chris Spence
Director of Technology Strategy and Programs, National Democratic Institute

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