Friday, April 27, 2012

Welcome to Twenty-Eight Twelve

Twenty-Eight Twelve is a collaborative citizen-journalist project and experiment. We are looking for volunteers across our coverage area to be bloggers, correspondents, contributors, and sources.

Our name comes from the twenty-eight sections of Article I of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania — the Declaration of Rights — and the twelve counties of southwestern Pennsylvania: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Somerset, Washington, and Westmoreland.

We need concerned citizens throughout this twelve-county area surrounding Pittsburgh to report on:

  • Elected officials and campaigns
  • Municipal governments and school boards
  • Local media bias and skewed reporting
  • Stories of local interest that have regional and/or national implications
  • Business and economic topics
  • Whatever else you think is important about our region to bring before our neighbors here and our fellow citizens elsewhere

We need writers, interviewers, videographers, artists, etc. It doesn't matter what or how much you think you can contribute; the more of us who do contribute, the more impact we will have over the course of events and the narrative in public discourse.

We need sources in local government, in education, in labor unions, in businesses. We need whistle blowers on corruption and collusion in government and both for- and non-profit organizations.

It doesn't matter what your background is, or what your economic position is, or what your race or ethnicity is. What matters is that we take a stand, that we will be heard, and we will not be silenced.

Our national officials take oaths to the Constitution of the United States. Our state and local officials take oaths to both the US and Pennsylvania constitutions. We will hold them to those oaths and to the law.

We will strive as the masthead says to provide "Conservative & Libertarian Reporting & Commentary" but we are not going to pin our contributors to an ideological box, save for:

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness — That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed (The Declaration of Independence)

All men are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent and indefeasible rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring, possessing and protecting property and reputation, and of pursuing their own happiness. (Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Article I, Section 1, "Inherent Rights of Mankind")

All power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority and instituted for their peace, safety, and happiness. For the advancement of these ends they have at all times an inalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform, or abolish their government in such a manner as they may think proper. (Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Article I, Section 2, "Political Powers")

We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men's labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name — liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names — liberty and tyranny. (President Abraham Lincoln, 1864)

We hope you'll join us, in whatever way you think you can. We need your help, because there are countless stories to be investigated and told if we are going to secure as citizens liberty for generations to come. It's up to us.

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