THE CALIFORNIA VOTER FOUNDATION
This prestigious award, hailed as the "Oscar of the Internet" was awarded to 22 web sites in a variety of categories, such as travel, fashion, news and art. CVF's web site, www.calvoter.org, won in the Politics and Law category; other sites nominated in this category included the Freedom Forum, the Center for Responsive Politics, Findlaw and Web, White and Blue.
The California Voter Foundation's site was selected by a panel of ten judges who evaluated sites based on content, structure and navigation, visual design, functionality, and overall experience. Webby Award winners in other categories included Amazon.com, CNN Interactive, PBS Online, and the Motley Fool.
The Webby Awards are sponsored by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a global organization dedicated to the creative, technical, and professional progress of new media. CVF's web site was also nominated for a Webby in 1997, the first year of the Webbies. In addition to the Webby Awards, the Academy also sponsored the People's Voice Award, chosen by the public via the Internet. Internet users cast over 100,000 ballots online; in the Politics and Law category, the People's Voice award went to the Freedom Forum.
The Webby Award winners were announced at a gala celebration in San Francisco on March 18, 1999, with a crowd of 3,000 reveling at San Francisco's newly-renovated City Hall into the early hours of the night. Winners' acceptance speeches were limited to just five words. The California Voter Foundation's award was accepted by Kim Alexander, president and founder of the nonprofit organization dedicated to exploring how technology can improve democracy. Alexander chose her five words carefully: "Thanks! Contributions are tax-deductible!" A lengthier acceptance speech by Alexander is featured below, recognizing the many people who contribute to the California Voter Foundation's success. An archive of the live Webby Awards webcast is also available.
1999 Webby Award Acceptance Speech
by Kim Alexander, President of the California Voter
Foundation and editor of www.calvoter.org
The California Voter Foundation is very proud to have won the 1999 Webby Award. Our success on the web shows that even a small non-profit with a staff of just three people can have a tremendous impact through the Internet. It also shows that the Internet is not just about commercialism and banner ads; it's about information. Information is power, and by putting information into people's hands, we can shape a political and civic culture that is more responsive, accountable, and accessible to everyone. This is the dream of the California Voter Foundation and the mission of our web site, and it means the world to us that this vision for the future of politics and the Internet is applauded and supported by so many.
Though our budget is small and our paid staff few, there are still many people who have helped make the California Voter Foundation's web site what it is today, including our funders, members, board of directors, staff and hundreds of UC Davis political science students. Special kudos go to:
Saskia Mills, Managing Director, California Voter Foundation
Amanda Bohl, Membership Director, California Voter Foundation
Professor Geoffrey Wandesforde-Smith, UC Davis Academic Advisor
Brian Wallace & "The Boys" at Digital Gear Internet Industries
Drs. David Jefferson & Glenn Trewitt, Compaq Computer Corporation's Network Systems Lab
We'd also like to recognize the thousands of Internet users who visit our web site every year and provide such tremendous feedback and support for our efforts. Financial support from members, foundations and corporations keeps our site free for users and free of any advertisements. Contributions are welcome and tax-deductible!
My sincere thanks also goes to the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences for sponsoring the Webbies, honoring excellence on the Web, and hosting one of the best parties in the world!