The most suffocating sensations within all political systems are feeling voiceless, quieted or unheard. Tech companies like Countable are doing an excellent job at keeping everyone updated on how our politicians are voting, in a transparent and non-partisan way. But many are unaware of how to get a message to those politicians beforehand. Of course, there’s calling and emailing, and Change.org and MoveOn both allow for collective action. But now, activists and concerned citizens have a home in LobbyForMe.Org. It’s as easy as clicking a button to create a campaign, outlining your thoughts so that others can understand and then share. Anyone who agrees with your campaign enters can then sign on and record a voice message. LobbyForMe delivers the messages directly to the rep. This removes a fear barrier and also wait times. The platform itself then collects information on reach and influence, another tool that can be used down the line.
LobbyForMe was co-founded by the CEO of Frameology.com Ben Koren and Todd O’Brien, Head of Software Development at Warby Parker—an organization familiar with the power of the internet. According to Koren, the technology differs from other platforms, “We tried out a number of different ways to route calls and messages.” Here, they “deliver the voicemail to the appropriate representative overnight, so it’s waiting in the morning. Congressional aides tabulate the messages that next day and pass them on the representative.” He notes that this ended up being “by far the easiest and most efficient way to make people’s voices be heard.”
Their impetus, he shares, was the 2016 election. “One of the things that really struck both Todd and I was the fact that so many people felt completely unheard and unrepresented by our government,” he says. “We started doing research and we found a lot of evidence to back that up—both empirical and anecdotal. LobbyForMe was the solution we came up with after talking to dozens of activists, congressional aides, government officials, and citizens.” And this lack of feeling heard is something almost all of us can all understand.
Images courtesy of LobbyForMe