HOW ONE DEMOCRACY BENEFITS...
It’s election season, and the Walker family is sitting down to dinner. There’s a lively debate around the table about the different candidates on the ballot, when Grandma whips out her phone and launches One Democracy. “Okay everybody. Let’s take the political ideology test and see if these candidates really think like we do,” she says.
Interested, the family opens their phones and visits the app until Mom pipes up, “Woah woah woah, everybody. No phones during dinner!”
“You’re right, dear,” Dad says, “no phones at the dinner table, you guys.”
They eat, they chat, they pass the peas and once dinner is over and we move to the living room, the phones come back out, and everyone opens “My Ballot” in One Democracy. They view each candidates Ideology charts, and take their own ideology test to find in which particular quadrant they are most aligned.
Tommy clicks a similarly aligned candidate’s avatar in the quadrant to see their voting record, debate performance history, special interests, and a loyalty rating which indicates how closely their votes align with public opinion in their district. As Tommy clicks through he says, “Hmmm, this guy is not bad. He cares about a lot of the same things I do. And using ranked choice voting in the app, I can rank him first, but still choose other candidates second and third in case he doesn’t get the most votes.”
Dad grimaces at his screen and says, “Aw jeez, the guy I’ve been supporting is actually taking donations from lobbyists that support overseas sweatshops! I’m not voting for that.” Sally rolls her eyes and says, “See, I told you, dad. That guy’s a slime ball.”
Everyone is engaged and discussing as Grandma says, “Well, it’s nice to see some of our candidates have a lot more in common than we realized. And some of them aren’t so great after all. ” She gives Dad a sidelong glance, who, still staring at his screen, in enlightened surprise, says, “Wow, my candidate is a real turd. I’m switching to someone else.”
Sally chimes in pointing to her screen, “Hey guys, based on ranked choice voting, it looks like this candidate actually addresses most of our issues. Maybe we should vote strategically for her so we don’t split our votes and end up with someone we all dislike.”
“That’s a great idea!” Mom says. "I'm glad we all agree."
“Wow, I’m glad we looked at One Democracy before voting,” Dad exclaims.
“Me too,” Grandma says as she notices Sally looking to the kitchen. “Speaking of voting, who votes for desert?” Everyone laughs and throws their raises their hand.
LEADERS & CITY OFFICIALS
Nate is a young legislator slogging his way through a session in the State House. He was elected on the strength of his ideals and charged into office with full head of steam, determined to change things.
But now, knee-deep in the legislative session, his desk is buried in bills filled with hundreds of pages to read and mark-up, he’s sleeping a few intermittent hours on his office couch each night, and his eyes are bleary and his suit is a frumpy mess.
Suddenly, there’s a knock on his door. The legislative assistant pokes his head in and says. “Sir, your next appointment is here. It’s Jim Bob Slick, the lobbyist, to see you.” Jim Bob strides into the room all handshakes and guffaws bellowing, “How ya doing, good buddy? Looking a little tired there, I see.”
Nate looks up from his desk and says, “Aw jeez, can't you see all the bills I'm going through here? I can’t keep up with all of them, and there are some pieces I just don’t understand.“
Don’t worry, buddy,” Jim Bob goes on, “I can explain those to you. We can actually help you make it real simple.” Jim Bob reaches behind the desk and pulls down the window shades, cutting off sight of the people demonstrating outside the Capitol building.
After Jim Bob leaves, Charlie Bravo, a constituent, walks in to discuss the pros and cons of a bill. Charlie pulls up One Democracy on his phone and shows Nate where they both stand on the issue.
Charlie says, “Representative Morgan, you have consistently sided with the special interests on this issue. I can see the vote history right here."
Nate looks at Charlie earnestly and says, “You know, Charlie, I didn’t realize I was. There are just so many bills I don’t have time to read them all, and these lobbyist like Jim Bob are more than eager to ‘explain’ them to me, and we got move these out of committee or I’ll look like just another do-nothing politician.”
Charlie looks at him with a mix of sympathy and frustration and calmly says, “I understand, but 'We the People' also do not have enough resources to lobby in person, but One Democracy can keep us connected and provide us all a fair interpretation of bills.”
Nate takes out his phone and downloads the app. “Thanks, Charlie,” I’ll start using One Democracy, too.”
A little later Nate is on One Democracy and navigates to the Bills feed.
The “Following" filter makes it simple for him to navigate public polling, related press, and user feedback on upcoming issues. As he is learning more, Nate takes a survey on the bill he and Charlie were discussing and discovers he aligns with his constituents, not the special interest groups.
Soon after, Nate’s approval rating is climbing on One Democracy, his loyalty rating goes up, and he wins re-election. When Jim Bob Slick stops by the next time, Nate tells him, “Thanks, but no thanks, I have all the help I need from One Democracy... buddy.”
"I'm not your buddy, pal."
"I'm not your pal, guy"
"I'm not guy, friend"
"Get out of my office, chief."
Isaac has been spending a lot of time arguing about the police and civil rights on social media, not changing any minds and feeling nothing but anger. When it seems like people can’t even agree on the same basic facts, how can we have a meaningful discussion, he wonders.
As he scrolls through his feed, outside his open window he hears the wail of police sirens and the chants of protesters. He looks back at his phone and sees that someone has posted a link to One Democracy in the discussion.
Isaac clicks on the link, goes to the app, and selects his county. He scrolls through the feed of public issues for his community. After seeing posts on the election, the COVID-19 response, and other current events, he scrolls down a bit and finds “Public Safety Reform.”
From the menu he selects "Related" and finds related public policy and resources. The top trending is “Defund the Police,” which he clicks on and takes a look. The bill is at 50% popularity, and the forums are filled with informed and regional discussion. A local group alternatively suggests an Initiative from another county that would appoint social workers to respond to certain non-violent crimes.
Isaac copies the initiative and customizes it for his community, and easily shares it on social media, with his email lists, and phone contacts. Soon, Isaac’s neighbors are all supporting the bill to fund One Democracy's in-house attorney who can help draft the bill.
The bill is drafted and garners over 90% support from the community. Since all of the profiles on One Democracy are verified by address, the initiative serves as an official petition. Once there are enough verified signatures, it goes to the ballot. Election Day comes and the initiative passes.
Carl has had a long day on the construction site. As he's driving his truck home, turning the corner onto 2nd Street, with a smash he hits a pothole. His truck lurches and sputters the last block, rolling into his garage on a flat tire he sees steam wafts out from the under the hood. Too annoyed to make dinner, Carl hops on his Harley and heads to a neighborhood eatery to grab a bite and blow off some steam of his own.
Carl sits down, venting to the bartender and anyone else who will listen that he’s fed up with the city’s failure to fix these potholes. A cute woman a couple of seats over pipes up, “You know, there’s a town hall meeting on Thursday about street repairs.”
Interested, Carl replies, “Oh yeah? Thanks um...” he pauses as the lady jumps in adding, “Helen. My name's Helen."
"Thanks, Helen,” Carl says, “I’ll be there!”
Thursday rolls around, and Carl is running late at work, his truck still in the shop. He complains to his coworker, Jerry, that he’s going to miss the hearing. “Looks like you won’t get to chat with that gal from the diner, either,” Jerry quips, “but check this out,” he adds, holding up his phone, “you can attend the meeting through One Democracy.”
Carl and Jerry look at One Democracy together, navigating to their city, then to Meetings & Elections feed, and scroll to the town hall meeting where they tune in live and can see the agenda.
“Aww man,” Carl says, “we missed the street repairs section.”
“Don’t worry,” Jerry replies, “you can rewind.” So they scan back through the hearing, and see frustrated citizens with raised hands not able to testify on the issue. Going back to the live feed, Carl replies to specific comments from the hearing and shares his story.
The next day at the construction site Carl exclaims, “Hey look, Jerry, Counselor Robinson replied to my comment and agrees we need to get those potholes fixed immediately.”
A few weeks later and Carl is back at the corner eatery when Helen walks over. “Hey, I saw your comment to Representative Robinson on One Democracy. He was the swing vote that got that measure passed,” Helen says.
Next thing we know, Carl is cruising down 2nd Street with Helen on his Harley in the bright sunshine. The road is freshly repaved without another pothole in sight.
Joni is a dedicated journalist who has spent several years investigating the TetraCorp chemical plant that’s polluting her hometown and is suspected to be contributing to a spike in cancer cases. Based on interviews with employees and public record requests, she’s uncovered allegations of corruption and criminal conduct.
Joni’s reporting has been picked up by a small news outlet that has low profile. She goes onto One Democracy and searches Public Issues for stories of similar pollution and corruption cases.
Scrolling through the related headlines she discovers an article from a major news source on the TetraCorp plant; she finds it is full of inaccuracies and is biased towards the corporation. Joni clicks the “Accuracy/Bias” flags next to the headline and takes a brief survey that asks her for feedback on the articles.
Then she selects the “Add” button and includes her own headline.
Joni receives updates on her post and logs in to find that there are some users discrediting her work, and some being downright rude. She is able to ignore particularly distasteful comments by adjusting her tolerance scale for abusive language.
Then she easily clicks her “verified locals” only filter, and sure enough notices that whilst discussing amongst actual community members, the conversation becomes much more civil and accurate. In fact, her article is at the top of the trending headlines with an Accuracy/Bias rating of A+.
Dozens of users are leaving comments like, “Thank you for reporting on this important story,” and, “No one has had the courage to tell the truth until now! Thank you for your work!” Community leaders and public officials weigh in as well, indicating they are working on policy changes to address the issue and launching a public investigation.
Soon, Joni’s reporting is picked up by major news outlets and she is being discussed and potential Pulitzer Prize winner! All for her ability to step up, speak her truth, and be seen in a trusted forum such as One Democracy.
Maggie is a college student taking online courses. One of her professors gives the class an assignment to look up their county’s demographic data and compare it to the residents’ voting tendencies. She launches One Democracy on her phone, clicks on the “Redistricting App” and is able to view demographic and district lines for her county.
She notices that the demographic lines and district lines are grouped differently and don’t match up. This fascinates her, so she scrolls a bit further and sees a message that says, “No Upcoming Line Drawing Initiatives.”
Maggie clicks on the message and gets a prompt asking, “Why Am I Seeing This?” She clicks on the message which reads, “Your county information is unavailable. Click here to learn more.” Piqued, Maggie clicks and reads, “At One Democracy, we offer internships to engage citizens directly with their government.” Maggie smiles and nods confidently, a plan crystallizing in her mind.
Flash forward a few weeks and Maggie is leading a Zoom call with local government officials, showing them how to use One Democracy to keep information current in the database in real-time without having to use a cumbersome third party API. She’s pretty sure most of the people on the call don’t even know what an API is and a third party to them is the Libertarians or the Greens.
Guided by her curiosity and enabled by One Democracy’s easy-to-use interface, within a short period of time Maggie becomes proficient with the technology and well-informed on local political structures. She becomes a One Democracy moderator and is soon helping other counties use the tool to organize themselves.
Maggie and others from her community launch an initiative to redraw district lines to more effectively reflect voting tendencies and regional concerns.
Maggie returns to her university where she’s able to demonstrate what demographic data contributes to a more cohesive and empowered constituency and more responsive and accountable representation.
And don't worry, Maggie got an A in that class.