Digital Democracy Leadership Team


Honorable Dr. Sam Blakeslee
Project Director
Former California State Senator and Assemblyman

Honorable Gavin Newsom
Institute Advisor
California Lieutenant Governor

Christine Robertson
Project Co-Director
Former Chief of Staff, California Senate and Assembly

Dr. Foaad Khosmood
Senior Research Fellow
Forbes Professor of Computer Engineering

Dr. Alex Dekhtyar
Faculty Scholar
Professor, Computer Science

Dr. Franz Kurfess
Faculty Scholar
Professor, Computer Science

Dr. Michael Latner
Faculty Scholar
Assistant Professor, Politcal Science

Charles T. Munger, Jr.
Institute Advisor

Daniel G. Newman
Institute Advisor
CEO / Co-Founder, MapLight

Carl Guardino
Institute Advisor
President and Chief Executive Officer of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group

Digital Democracy Multimedia

Digital Democracy gives advocacy groups fighting for veterans, the homeless, foster children, and others the ability to easily keep tabs on where lawmakers stand on the issues that matter to them. The idea for the platform came from advocates who worked with Cal Poly students and faculty members to create a tool that would give a voice to those in California who until now, did not have one.

Empowering Families

"I didn't expect to have to advocate for my child. I knew as a mom I would protect and love my children, but when you have a child with special needs it's another level of advocacy."

Lisa Leonard, mother of a son with special needs


Empowering Community Advocates

“Unfortunately, the children and families that we serve don’t have lobbyists, and organizations like ours can’t afford one. But, we want to be able to make an effective impact in Sacramento that will ensure our families and children’s health and well being."

Jim Roberts, CEO and founder of the Family Care Network, a non-profit that helps foster children along California’s Central Coast


Empowering Veterans

"It can be disheartening as a lot of veterans don't put veterans as a priority. A lot of vets have given life and limb and the sacrafices they made are great. It would be nice if veterans got more than just a parade, if they actually had advocates at the capitol fighting for veterans and veterans rights."

Lance Iunker, combat wounded vetearn


Empowering Citizenship

The thing we’ve forgotten in this country is citizenship.  We’ve lost sight of it.  And citizenship isn’t you vote, I decide. It’s about reconciling the fact that in any representative democracy, that the public still has a voice, and their voice matters. The challenge is being able to amplify that voice and to be given the opportunity to participate in a dialogue requires information and so often that information is hidden."

California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom


Digital Democracy Tutorial Video

Digital Democracy is built to make it fast and easy for anyone to search, watch and share video clips of the moments that matter to them. Find out how it works in this brief tutorial.


Digital Democracy Promo Video

Under the leadership of Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom and Former State Senator Sam Blakeslee, this new civic engagement platform was developed by students at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly). Digital Democracy will empower advocacy groups and everyday Californians with tools that will transform the relationship citizens have with their state government.

To download videos click here.