US onAir Network 1

Summary

The US onAir Network will launch this spring 50 onAir state hubs and this national US onAir hub. The US onAir Network supports US citizens and democracy by bringing together information, experts, organizations, policy makers, and the public to facilitate greater engagement in federal, state, and local politics and more civil, positive discussions and collaborations on important issues and governance.

Learn. Discuss. Make a Difference.
Your Voice matters – onAir! 

Democracy onAir, a nonpartisan nonprofit is the lead manager and supporter for the US onAir Network of hubs. See below for more information on Democracy onAir.

About

The US onAir Network of 50 onAir state Hubs and national US onAir Hub has as its goal to become the People’s Platform for Democracy. US onAir gives current and future US voters a faster, easier, more effective, and engaged way to:

  • LEARN about their US state representatives, government, organizations, key issues, and elections;
  • DISCUSS their views with politicians, committees, government agencies, and each other;
  • COLLABORATE with these people and groups to improve/make a difference in our democracy.

To find in depth information on an onAir Hub, you can:

  1. Search this content and use our Who Represents Me app to find your representatives;
  2. Follow the people, groups, and issues you are interested in and get the latest news and events on your phone;
  3. Browse this content on your laptop or desktop in a number of ways include via slideshows. For example, here are slide shows on US House Committees and Florida onAir featured posts.

Sharing content

The US onAir network will be collaborating with academic organizations focused on politics, policy, and/or gov’t to engage their students to use the onAir platform for democracy-related service learning and for community-based research. Similarly, we will be working with members of nonprofit organizations promoting democracy.

All 50 state hubs have posts on their current Governor, US senators, and US House members as well as posts on their legislative, executive, and branches. Many of these posts are shared with the national US onAir Hub. For example, here are 50 posts on state legislatures.

The US Government network is part of onAir Networks using the onAir Knowledge Network software platform. To learn more about onAir networks, the onAir platform, and the nonprofit supporting the US Government network and the Democracy onAir movement, go to this post.

Over the next few years, Democracy onAir will extend its onAir networks to other democratic countries such as this nascent  networks:  India onAir Network.

Managing Director Remarks

When I speak with young voters about voter apathy, something that comes up in every discussion is this lingering feeling that one’s participation in the political process is inconsequential and as such they feel no need to participate. What is needed is a platform that heightens young people’s  as well as other voters voice and allows for a direct interface with the people they care about, whether that be their representative or other government officials or their peers at university so that they can feel like what they believe is being heard.

Our US onAir network team believes that we can become a significant contributor to addressing voter apathy. By establishing onAir hubs and Student onAir chapters in universities across the United States, we can facilitate direct student involvement not only in the political process through the curation of news and aggregation of information surrounding government, but we can also provide the platform and resources that make bringing students and their representatives face to face possible.

People love to talk and be heard, this is particularly true of university students who are at a prime stage of discovering their self-identity and it’s my belief that the best way of doing so is being introduced to as many ideas or people as possible to start figuring out what you like and dislike.

We believe in our mission deeply and think this is a unique opportunity to get students and voters involved by showing them that their participation matters and that there is a way to have their voices heard.

Ben Murphy, Managing Director

Benefits for Politicians

Twitter, Facebook, and other social media and online platforms provide an interface between candidates/representatives and voters/residents, though often those interactions are polarized and do little to promote quality communication. Voters and residents are not interest groups, are rarely concerned only about a single issue, and are not well represented by the brief and often detached interactions of social media. Politicians rarely have an opportunity to fully engage outside of in person events that tend to draw only the most engaged individuals.

USA onAir hubs will encourage and enable a wider range of participation and offer politicians an opportunity to listen to those constituents and talk about how their proposals and votes relate to their principles and needs of constituents. These interactions are mediated by curated forums and moderated aircasts – livestreamed, student-led online discussions and events.

This will clearly benefit politicians with limited resources and/or limited knowledge regarding social media, but it also benefits politicians and constituents who already have social media presence but are looking for a higher quality of discourse and engagement with their student constituents.

onAir Membership

Becoming an onAir member will enable you to:

  • Curate posts and moderate post forums;
  • Be a producer, host, or discussant for an aircast;
  • Comment on posts in any onAir Hub;
  • Qualify to be an onAir Chapter member e.g. Students on Air @GMU;
  • Intern with onAir Networks
  • Participate in special events like Meet the Changemakers Day.

Becoming an onAir member is simple and free.  All that is required is your first and last name, your email address and your zipcode. You can also identify the issues you would like a hub’s curators and authors to address. When you submit your email address to become a Hub member, it is your option to have your address displayed.

University onAir chapters

The GMU onAir Chapter is the first chapter established to bring together faculty, students, staff, alumni, and friends of the university focusing onAir networks.  S

OnAir chapters will be outreaching to other colleges and universities in their state to form additional onAir chapters.

To set up your university onAir chapter, contact usdemocracy@onair.cc.

Chapter members can contribute  in many ways including:

  • Curate posts on issues, representatives, candidates, and committees;
  • Aggregate content for a Hub’s top news articles, commentary, videos, and livestreams;
  • Moderate a post’s forum comments;
  • Be a producer, host, or discussant for an aircast;
  • Submit a 1-minute Speak Up video and participate in an aircast with representatives;
  • Help promote the chapter and its activities;
  • Author an adovcate post
  • Donate to Democracy onAir or your organization become a sponsor

Most of the above ways to to contribute require less than an hour per week depending on the nature and extent of engagement.

Democracy onAir

Democracy onAir is a nonpartisan, 501c3 nonprofit that brings together, via online knowledge networks, information, experts, organizations, and the public to better address grand challenges like strengthening global democracies. One of Democracy onAir’s first networks is the US onAir  Network of 50 state hubs strengthening US democracy through facilitating greater civic engagement and civil discussion.

Democracy onAir was chartered in Virginia in 2018. Todd Gillette, PhD 2016 neuroscience and Senior Software Engineer at Northrop Grumman is Chair.

The Challenge: Citizen apathy, disaffection, and lack of knowledge threaten our ability to self govern. Modern day politics is a big driver in those issues. What can be done to reverse these trends and address a political system that drives many Americans away?

Our Goal: Create an online space where students (and the general public) can find trusted and comprehensive information about their representatives, candidates, issues, and governance, and where they can engage directly with their representatives to find common ground on issues and legislation that are important to them. When citizens better understand how change happens, they feel more empowered to make change themselves.

Our Plan:  To develop our student-maanged state Hubs through inspiring and onboarding student leaders in Student onAir chapters at universities in all 50 states. In addition to curating news and other content, student leaders will organize and produce aircasts with students to amplify as many student voices as we can.

onAir Internships

Over the past four years with the help of George Mason University faculty, staff, and alumni, onAir Networks has been working with over 60 interns majoring in government, global affairs, communications, and the information science.  Former interns are now working on creating Hub networks for India, Taiwan, and South Korea to support democracy.

We encourage student interns to integrate their internship with their intern courses for credit, class projects, capstone projects, and research work. Many of our interns have taken 6 credit internship or capstone courses.  Most work is done online and unpaid.  Some of our recent interns have continued working withonAir Networks in management positions.

OnAir interns who commit 5 hours a week or more will receive a Profile post where they can include their resume, projects, video interviews, and other information about their interests, skills, and experience helpful to gaining employment and networking opportunities.

Supporting Democracy onAir

Individuals and organizations can support a US Government hub in many ways including:

  • Donating to onAir Networks;
  • Sponsoring a post, category, or entire Hub
  • Purchasing an Advocate membership and curate your own posts

See the Supporting onAir networks post for more information.

GMU Acknowledgements

George Mason University faculty, students, alumni, and staff have been instrumental in developing the onAir software as well as our initial networks. Interns have been many Mason academic units including from the Volgenau School of Engineering, Schar School of Policy and Government, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Honors College. have participated in this work, most via a 6 credit, 20 hour a week internship programs. The following Mason Patriots have made significant contributions:

Todd Gillette, GMU PhD Neuroscience, 2015
Todd started working on programming the onAir knowledge network platform and exploring the creation of a neuroscience knowledge network in 2015 while completing his PhD at GMU’s Krasnow Institute.  After graduation, Todd joined Northrop Grumman and is now a senior software engineer leading a research team of 12. In 2019, Todd realized that the onAir platform could be used to help address these election and governance issues. So, along with other Mason alumni, faculty, staff, and students, he formed Democracy onAir and became its Chair.

Tim O’Shea, GMU BA Government, 2019
After Tim graduated from GMU,  he was hired in the summer of 2019 as the first Executive Director for the Virginia onAir Hub and became a Democracy onAir Director at this time. Tim recently graduated from Georgetown Law School and is a lawyer with DOT.

James Lillard, GMU BA GLOA, 2021
Jim was a GPF intern in the fall of 2021. After his graduation in Jan. 2022, Jim worked with Democracy onAir as its intern Director.

Democracy onAir has been working with the Global Politics Fellows program over the past four years. Thirty GPF students have worked 18 hours per week interning with Democracy onAir developing first the Virginia onAir Hub then 49 other state hubs and the US onAir Hub. The interns also established a Registered Student Organization called Students onAir @GMU. See profiles of many of our GPF, Volgenau IT&S, and other GMU interns.

Some of the 2022 cohort of 11 GPF interns, led by Ben Murphy-Schar 2023, decided to continue working on US onAir after their internship. Ben became Managing Director; Ani Prakash-GLOA 2024, President of Students onAir @GMU (and a future Director of India onAir); Joe Kubicki-Schar 2024, Media Director; and Gabe Yu-GLOA 2023-Director of the Taiwan Government onAir network.

Other student contributors include Shuaib Ahmed, BA Volgenau- 2020, who led an IT capstone project with five other IT&S majors; Aram Zucker-Scharff- BA English- 2011 and BS – Information Technology who did some of the initial programming for the onAir knowledge networking platform; and Jordan Toledo, BA Government- 2021 who assisted us with outreach to Student Governments throughout the country.

Many GMU faculty members have assisted in developing US onAir including: Maria Dworzecka, Robert Weigel, John Casey, Andrzej Manitius, Gary Kreps, Lourdes Fernandez, and Jennifer Victor.

Mason staff who contributed to US onAir include: Will Rees, Paras Kaul, Jim McLean, Thea Kassas, and LeighAnn Skeen.

Representatives:  Mason Fairfax’s state delegate, David Bulova and US House member, Don Beyer have been most helpful in the development of the US onAir network.  We greatly appreciate their special efforts to provide ongoing support for Mason students especially with the aircasts they participated in and with future aircasts.

Source:

US onAir Hubs

US onAir National Hub

This national US onAir hub at us.onair.cc has original content on US democracy, issues, and the US executive branch and US judicial branch as well as posts on US Senate committees, US House committees, and Joint Committees.

State Hubs

All US Government state Hubs have posts on each state’s Governor, US Senators, and US House members as well as posts on how to register and vote in the upcoming elections. Curated stated Hubs like the VA onAir hub  also have posts on US House races, other state executives, state senators, and state House members and posts on issues. As a state enlists more curators, posts on city and county representatives and elections will also be started.

There are many ways to access a state Hub. The simplest is to type into the URL field of your browser the two letter initials for the state Hub you want to go then add “gov.onair.cc” and hit enter. For example, the Texas state Hub can be found at txgov.onair.cc. California is the exception at calgov.onair.cc (cagov.onair.cc is reserved for Canada’s central hub). You can also find a state Hub at this central US Government Hub by selecting the “Site Map” icon at the top left of the Header then selecting the region (Northeast, Midwest, South, and West) of the state you are interested in.

Below are direct links to the 50 state hubs in alphabetical order:

Alabamaal.onair.cc
Alaskaak.onair.cc
Arkansasar.onair.cc
Arizonaaz.onair.cc
Californiaca.onair.cc
Coloradoco.onair.cc
Connecticutct.onair.cc
Delawarede.onair.cc
Floridafl.onair.cc
Georgiaga.onair.cc
Hawaiihi.onair.cc
Idahoid.onair.cc
Illinoisil.onair.cc
Indiana in.onair.cc
Iowa ia.onair.cc
Kansasks.onair.cc
Kentuckyky.onair.cc
Louisianala.onair.cc
Maineme.onair.cc
Marylandmd.onair.cc
Massachusettsma.onair.cc
Minnesotamn.onair.cc
Mississippi ms.onair.cc
Marylandmd.onair.cc
Montanamt.onair.cc
Nebraskane.onair.cc
Nevada- nv.onair.cc
New Hampshirenh.onair.cc
New Jerseynj.onair.cc
New Mexiconm.onair.cc
New Yorkny.onair.cc
North Carolinanc.onair.cc
North Dakotand.onair.cc
Ohiooh.onair.cc
Oklahoma ok.onair.cc
Oregonor.onair.cc
Pennsylvaniapa.onair.cc
Rhode Islandri.onair.cc
South Carolinasc.onair.cc
South Dakotasd.onair.cc
Tennessee tn.onair.cc
Texastx.onair.cc
Utah ut.onair.cc
Vermontvt.onair.cc
Virginiava.onair.cc
Washingtonwa.onair.cc
West Virginiawv.onair.cc
Wisconsinwi.onair.cc
Wyomingwy.onair.cc

Presentations

University & Nonprofit Opportunity

Politician Opportunity

Flyer

Survey

User Experience

A few of the new, onAir user experiences to learn are:

  • Select anywhere on the featured image to view post and make comments.
  • Select tabs in slideshows for quick browsing of a post’s content
  • Select the onAir logo in the header to access “About” posts and onAir Hubs.

Viewing content

Any web user, on a laptop, desktop computer or smartphone connected to the internet, can easily access content on any onAir Network hub for free.

All Hub content is under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license which permits content sharing and adaptation by nonprofit organizations as long as proper attribution is given to its author(s) and is used for non-commercial purposes. Content and moderation guidelines reinforce our commitment to fact-based, comprehensive content and civil and honest discourse.  See Terms of Service for more information on how you can re-use Hub content and view Hub disclaimers.

Simply visiting a Hub does not expose your identity publicly nor will onAir Networks sell your information. See our Privacy Policy  to learn about how we don’t use cookies, track your usage, or sell your email address.

You can watch aircasts in forums, debates, town halls, and interviews. Aircasts are Zoom meetings with featured guests and audience participation that are livestreamed to the public. Aircasts are recorded and archived in onAir Hubs and YouTube channels and shareable on social media and websites.

Curating

Over the past four years, George Mason University alumni, students, faculty, and staff have been developing, administering, and curating the US Government network of 50 state governance and election hubs and central US Government Hub. The VA Government Hub has been the model state hub for how to add state representatives, committees, and other state government content including aircasts with representatives and candidates (e.g. here is a one minute clip from an interview aircast with Don Beyer – congressman from Virginia’s 8th District).

Curating a post and administering a hub is simple and intuitive requiring no programming experience. Any onAir member, with guidance from hub administrators, can curate an existing post on a hub. In addition, onAir members can also start and curate new posts, moderate forums, and produce aircasts as long as they adhere to a hub’s curation guidelines. OnAir members can also start and curate, for a fee, a post that does not need to adhere to a hub’s guidelines. These posts will be clearly identified and can include copyrighted content (not under our Creative Commons license). To author your own post, contact your hub’s administrator (see address in Hub’s footer).

If your university organization would like to curate a Hub in an onAir network, contact the network (see address in central network hub’s footer). Post curators will be provided with a free @onair.cc email address, if requested.

Video

About US onAir

Aircasts & Events

Interviews

Issue Forums

Committee Forums

Meet Your Candidates nights

Congress Days

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