What Should I Ask Tom Ridge About Homeland Security?

The “Council for Excellence in Government” which appears from its website to be an extremely anti-consumer business group, but which doesn't publish its membership list online, may have found a set of regulations that it likes: Homeland Security. One hopes this has nothing to do with the large budget and new contracting opportunities this provides for the corporate partners many of whom are in the information processing and collecting business.

The Council is doing a roadshow about Homeland Security, featuring Secretary Tom Ridge, and its second stop is in Miami next week. It's open to the public, as long as you sign up in advance, and show up 30 minutes early “for security purposes”. And I get to submit a question — but only in advance.

We are leading this initiative in coordination with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other strategic partners to examine Americans’ attitudes about homeland security, identify critical areas of concern, and recommend practical steps for shaping effective policies and procedures in the future.

The purpose of the Miami town hall meeting is to listen to you and your neighbors, to hear your specific homeland security concerns and discuss how together we can work to strengthen our nation’s coordinated response in the event of future terrorist threats or other national emergencies. The event is sponsored by IBM.

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge will kick-off the event, and television journalist/former CNN anchor Frank Sesno will moderate an engaging and interactive discussion with experts from the Miami area. We encourage you to attend this town hall meeting to share your perspective on how citizens, government, businesses, and the community-at-large can join forces to make our nation safe and secure.

I think I'll go. The pre-registration form has a place for submitting a question — I'd appreciate suggestions from readers of this blog. (I've also written in to learn more about the working group on privacy and security. It will be interesting to see how they respond.)

Update: so much for good intentions. Turned out I had a schedule conflict with something I had to do in the law school so I couldn't make it in time. And the web site said that they wouldn't seat latecomers for “security” reasons, so I didn't even try to turn up late.

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2 Responses to What Should I Ask Tom Ridge About Homeland Security?

  1. dsomerfield says:

    I would like to know how Mr Ridge thinks the proposed new rules requiring records from gun purchase background checks to be purged within 24 hours will affect homeland security.

  2. Brett Bellmore says:

    Ask him why the administration insists on sabotoging the armed pilots program.

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