By Whitney Archibald
Last year, a group of friends mostly BYU alumni who met through student government involvement began sending e-mail messages back and forth, trying to think of a way to encourage LDS participation in politics. Their ideas materialized into LDScitizen.com, a new Web site dedicated to bolstering participation in civic and political arenas. (LDScitizen.com is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)
Case M. Lawrence, ’97, the site’s executive director, explained, “We were looking for a way to shape the way the LDS vote is viewed in the country that we’re our own group: diverse, moderate, educated, and deliberate.” This diversity is reflected in the members of the nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that has developed to maintain the site, made up of “Democrats and Republicans, lawyers and students, mothers and businessmen, BYU student body presidents and Harvard graduates.”
The site posts articles on political issues, including articles by prominent LDS politicians, relevant news stories from across the country, and a Both Sides forum, where readers can respond to articles addressing controversial issues. Other offerings include a list of LDS officeholders around the country, a Get Involved page, and a free e-mail newsletter. Visitors are encouraged to submit opinion articles, information about local political events, and updates on LDS officeholders at state and local levels.
The site’s mission statement proclaims, “As people with a common bond of faith, we must do more, collectively, to elect leaders of integrity, support measures that preserve the quality of our lives, and oppose attempts to undermine the family, religious freedom, or the moral climate of our country.”