First App Designed for Congress Released

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POPVOX releases “MarkUp” to help Congress hear from constituents, read and annotate bill text

With the ability to search and annotate bills without printing hundreds of pages of text, MarkUp can save Congressional offices thousands of dollars per year.

POPVOX, the fastest-growing neutral online platform for advocacy about bills in Congress, launched their first edition iPad app today. POPVOX MarkUp, a legislative dashboard and annotation tool for Congress and government affairs professionals, is now available in the Apple app store for $9.99.

“Legislators and staff must constantly balance multiple issues and packed schedules. With POPVOX MarkUp, they can hold coffee in one hand and ten thousand bills in the other,” said POPVOX CEO, Marci Harris. "With the ability to search and annotate bills without printing hundreds of pages of text, MarkUp can save Congressional offices thousands of dollars per year."

“We decided to build the app soon after the House rules change in January 2011, allowing iPads on the House Floor,” explains Harris. “We were already building a site to help Congress better hear from constituents and find out what groups were saying about legislation. MarkUp delivers that information not only to the last mile, but the last inch -- right into the hands of Members of Congress, who really want to know what their constituents have to say about pending bills.”

POPVOX MarkUp provides comprehensive access to POPVOX’s bill-specific constituent sentiment statistics, bill reports and constituent comments -- sortable by Congressional district -- as well as endorsement and opposition statements from advocacy organizations. The iPad app equips users with time-saving features to search all bills in the 112th Congress, including the ability to mark up the bill with personal notes while reading, find sponsor, status, and cosponsor information, use in-bill keyword search and table of contents navigation, and share via social media. The app is designed for Congress but can be used by anyone.

To finance the app, POPVOX turned to Appbackr, a website that allows many people to finance development by purchasing wholesale units of the app and “backing” it. “People across the country agreed that it was important to make this information available to Congress, and they helped us make it happen,” says Harris. “From AppBackr to our wonderful development partners at Houston-based ChaiONE, everyone went out of their way because they felt this was an important project that will help Congress do its job better.”

POPVOX is a neutral, nonpartisan advocacy platform that meshes legislative data with individuals’ personal stories and sentiment. POPVOX delivers public input to Congress in a format tailored to actionable policy decisions and empowers users to leverage their expertise and numbers.
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Rachna Choudhry
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