Why a Brooklyn startupper and a Warby Parker dev teamed up to make a site for political activism - Technical.ly Brooklyn

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Jul. 31, 2017 7:58 am

Why a Brooklyn startupper and a Warby Parker dev teamed up to make a site for political activism

LobbyForMe helps calls to elected officials actually get heard.

Power to the people.

(Image courtesy of LobbyForMe)

That people are mad about politics right now needs no further exploration but there is one thing that does — and it’s the old-fashioned methods by which regular citizens are able to have a voice in the nation’s politics beyond simply voting.

After talking to friends in the political world, Ben Koren and and Todd O’Brien have come out with a new service called LobbyForMe.

“What we found is that the surge after the election of making calls has actually abated and is back to pre-Trump levels according to some congressional staffers we talked to,” Koren explained by phone. “But in those big moments like the healthcare debate it spikes again and the lines are flooded. What we came up with is that we actually take a voicemail through our system and deliver it at midnight to the right congressman every night.”

That way, politicians and their staffers hear every single voice of complaint or support.

Koren is the founder of Frameology, a startup based in Brooklyn. His partner on the project, O’Brien, is the head of software development for Warby Parker.

On the site, organizers can create a campaign and include talking points or a script. Their friends and political allies access the campaign and record a message, which is sent to the correct representative.

Koren hopes the platform can bring people’s voices close to the power of their dollars in our democracy.

“Money allows politicians to put their ads on TV right before an election and one of the things we learned is that politicians, especially in the House, are constantly running for office,” he said. “We hope that this will shift focus away from people who are going to give them money to people who are calling and voting.”

Power to the people. A not unfamiliar concept to the American experiment.

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