I think it is wonderful that we are having this open discussion. How do we go to the next step and collaborate? One way might be to have, not just "a voting text box" but a "Want to collaborate? box." Those who want to collaborate on a particular issue then would be sent to a webpage where a forum has been set up.
For example. I am interested in school board issues. I click onto the "Want to Collaborate." You could list all of the raised subjects so far about school boards. I am concerned about the politics of the textbooks so I would go to "selection of materials" or "curricular upgrades" and then I would find a forum where people are discussing AND COLLABORATING. To be successful, there should be a Forum Collaboration Etiquette section in this forum because many of us are not used to collaborating, and a Forum Process and Timetable for reaching a consensus. This will be doubly true since not only the public but various governments, businesses, Non-Profits will be trying to collaborate.
Once real collaboration happens, you will be amazed how the wisdom of each contributes to a whole and that the whole is so much more powerful and valuable because of the effort everyone made to work together.
Earth Charter Communities Network