BuildQuorum has launched its new public participation platform, opening a new channel for citizens to interact with their political representatives online.
BuildQuorum enables people to meaningfully engage with the policy making process by collectively expressing their wishes, interests and concerns. BuildQuorum was created as a forum for the online political community to incite and encourage discussion, interaction, and participation.
“One consistent theme among the hundreds and hundreds of people I talked to during the course of my campaigns was frustration with the process and a feeling that they weren’t being heard,” said Sean Bielat, founder and CEO of BuildQuorum. “Far too many Americans feel that their only participation in the political process is voting and aside from that, special interests control the agenda. I want the average American to act as his or her own ‘special interest’.”
BuildQuorum offers a medium through which citizens show support for causes they care about through an online message that is sent directly to the appropriate representative. More importantly, users can create their own topics, which may be more personal to them or their community, and send them directly to politicians.
Users can then choose the legislators whom they want to contact, be it anyone from members of Congress to state legislators, and then send their message directly to that person.
Unlike other petition sites such as Change.org, BuildQuorum users can actually send emails and messages directly to their target representative, rather than showing their support with just an online signature that doesn’t have as strong an impact.
Improving public participation in lawmaking has been a hot topic this year, and the Obama administration initiated its U.S Public Participation Playbook in February 2015. However, according to Cornell University’s Regulation Room e-community initiative, a successful public participation system must address three main barriers to citizen engagement in rule-making:
- Lack of awareness – people are unaware that they are legally entitled be a part of the process.
- Information overload – voluminous and complex rule-making materials are incomprehensible to many.
- Unfamiliarity with how to participate effectively and the means of participating.
“We created this platform to engage the public in politics and law-making and created an online community for discussion and debate,” continued Bielat. “By definition, a “quorum” is the minimum number of representatives required to discuss a legislative matter. The digital age offers us new opportunities to voice the opinions of the many, rather than the selected few, which should be taken into consideration before any decision is made.”
More than just another petition website, BuildQuorum aims to build an inclusive social network built around politics, political interests and real social issues. Users can log in via the website, or by using their Facebook details.
The whole system is designed with ease of use in mind, allowing users to become a part of the network, and make their opinions known in just a matter of minutes.