An App That Makes It Easy to Pester Your Congress Member


Joe Trippi pioneered the use of social media as a fundraising tool. As campaign manager for Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean in 2004, he started a trend that has reinvented that way politicians run for office. But he believes that many politicians are still missing out on the power of the internet once they’re elected.

“There are a lot of tools out there for campaigns to talk to voters, but not as many looking at how to give citizens and voters more impact on actual elected leaders in Congress.”

‘There’s been a lot of focus on winning campaigns, but there’s been less focus on governing.’

That’s why Trippi is working with an internet startup called Countable, which seeks to give citizens a greater voice in national politics. The company’s online service, which launches to the public today, gives you a simple and concise overview of the bills your national representatives are debating, and it lets you instantly send emails to these representatives, telling them how you would like them to vote.

Countable joins a growing wave of online tools that can improve the dialogue between citizens and representatives, including Madison, which lets you add your thoughts to both proposed bills and existing policies, and ThinkUp, a tool the White House uses to gauge popular sentiment through social media. The new service is most similar to Democracy OS, which lets governments and non-profits set up websites where people can discuss issues and vote on particular topics. But instead of building a platform that government operations must install on their own computer servers, Countable is offering a ready-made service.

In other words, you don’t have to wait for your representatives to adopt anything. All you have to do is sign up and start sending your thoughts to Congress. Read more at Wired.