iCitizen App To Track Legislation
So often, the general population has no idea what is going on politically. Sure, we all know about the big, hot-button issues, but when it comes to the more nuanced, detailed legislation, we often have no clue. There is a startup that is looking to change that. iCitizen is a platform to help inform the citizenry on as many issues as they can handle. The app allows users to follow and track the issued and legislation that affects them. We had a chance to ask the iCitizen team a few questions about their app and company:
What is iCitizen?
iCitizen is a nonpartisan civic platform that engages, empowers and informs citizens in order to revolutionize government. Users identify their elected representatives, choose which issues to follow, and vote on polls and legislation. Representatives see the results. News and background on the issues users care about helps them keep current. The app provides an unprecedented, robust channel for constituent-representative communication. iCitizen’s goal is a higher level of citizen engagement with government, and of government transparency for citizens.
Why made you guys build iCitizen?
Government representatives are elected to serve the people, but it can be difficult to get an accurate, aggregated view of citizens’ views and their opinions on important issues – particularly in between election cycles. iCitizen is working to change that by empowering citizens to express their opinions through direct online communication with their representatives.
Tell us your founding story. Was there an “ah ha” moment?
Note from founder, Duncan Dashiff…”In the spirit of fair disclosure, I am a co-founder of iCitizen, its current chairman, and an independent voter, which means I vote for people from different parties depending on where I believe they stand on the issues most important to me at the time. I conceived the idea of creating iCitizen out of frustration with the partisan political process that made it difficult for me to know what citizens really wanted and leading me to conclude that it must be impossible for our representatives to really know what their constituents want when it comes to specific issues upon which our government must take action. Moreover, the lack of voice for citizens IN BETWEEN elections has only served to enable the access and influence of entities that don’t necessarily represent the view of the majority in our country when it comes to a particular issue or piece of legislation citizens care about.
I envisioned a broad civic engagement platform with mobility as a centerpiece that enables citizens to monitor elected officials and issues of personal interest, enables citizens to influence legislative outcomes between election cycles, and rebuilds the system of accountability between elected officials and their constituents in our country.”
Tell us about your founding team and their backgrounds.
Of note, our founders, management team, and advisory board consist of people with very diverse political views who are simply frustrated with the lack of citizen empowerment and voice in our governing process as well as the erosion of transparency and accountability between electeds and their constituents. iCitizen has received press coverage from “mainstream,” “conservative” and “liberal” publications and news organizations. Both Congressmen Blackburn (R) and Cooper (D) attended our National Launch event to lend their support for iCitizen’s mission.
What’s the next step? What are your short-term goals?
We will soon launch a back-end solution that will be pre-populated for every federal and state representative. This will give them a dashboard view of data delivered in a concise, consolidated and customized way so they can see the polls that are trending in the platform and where iCitizens stand on those topics. They will also be able to conduct their own polls and get specific data related to the community they serve. An advanced analytic component will allow them to view constituent opinions over a period of time.