Update: The signatures threshold for petitions on the We the People platform to receive an official response from the White House has changed since this blog post was published. See the latest signature thresholds.
Last year, the White House launched a new tool called We the People, offering a powerful and simple way to petition the Obama Administration to take action on a range of issues. If a petition gathers enough signatures, policy officials review it and publish an official response.
From the beginning, We the People's popularity exceeded our expectations. Over 600,000 signatures were received in the first 11 days and within two weeks, 81 petitions had reached the initial signature threshold of 5,000 signatures within 30 days. Raising the threshold to 25,0000 signatures within 30 days allowed us to balance our resources and focus on providing quality response and follow-up engagement. However, since October 3, 2011, we've still had an additional 30 petitions cross the new threshold. View a map of petition signatures by location.
Many times, petitions posted on We the People have a real impact on policy-making. For example, the popularity of two petitions concerning online piracy (a.k.a. SOPA & PIPA) crystallized the Administration’s position on the issue, which was first detailed in a response on We the People. In response to a petition demanding stronger oversight of commercial breeders who sell puppies online, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced they were developing a proposed rule that would cover internet breeders under the Animal Welfare Act. Once the rule was open for public comment, petition signers were invited to comment.
Check out a couple key facts and figures about the We the People platform below.
Ready to create or sign a petition now? Get started at WhiteHouse.gov/WeThePeople.
We the People petition signatures by location: