Public-interest groups and concerned individuals will have a new ear at the White House.
The Obama administration has promised to take action, including officially commenting, on petitions for government action through a new online tool.
Starting later this month, a new subsite of the White House web site, www.WhiteHouse.gov/WeThePeople, will launch as part of an ongoing administration effort to promote online engagement.
[I]ndividuals will be able to create and sign petitions seeking action from the federal government on a range of issues," the White House announced Thursday. "If a petition gathers enough signatures [5,000 within 30 days] White House staff will review it, ensure it is sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response."