POPVOX Translates the Voice of the People Into the Language of Congress

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With angel backing from Silicon Valley icon Tim O'Reilly and deep experience on Capitol Hill, a new company, POPVOX, today announces its beta to begin bridging the gap between the input the public wants to provide to Congress, and the information Members of Congress need to receive.

"POPVOX brings a unique blend of Capitol Hill savvy and Silicon Valley technology to the problem of measuring and managing advocacy."

With angel backing from Silicon Valley icon Tim O'Reilly and deep experience on Capitol Hill, a new company, POPVOX, today announces its beta to begin bridging the gap between the input the public wants to provide to Congress, and the information Members of Congress need to receive.

"Constituent communications are overwhelming Congressional offices," says POPVOX CEO Marci Harris, who has first-hand experience as a Congressional staff member. "Members of Congress really do want to hear what constituents have to say. Unfortunately, today’s communication tools increase the messages going in to Congress without helping Congress handle the influx. The increasing emails, Tweets, Facebook comments, petitions, form letters, faxes, etc. are having the unintended effect of turning genuine citizen engagement into unintelligible noise.”

POPVOX solves this problem by providing a platform for citizen communication with Congress — letting Congressional staff know that the people contacting them are located in their district, channeling activity to bills pending before Congress, and providing data dashboards to identify which organizations are weighing in on each side of any issue. POPVOX helps advocacy organizations highlight their work on specific legislation, increase visibility on Capitol Hill and easily identify potential partners. Additionally, POPVOX provides a curating interface for anyone — including the public and the media — to access and understand the voice of the people.

"Many grassroots campaigns don’t take into account that Members of Congress have limited ability to respond to general expressions of outrage or support. They can introduce, co-sponsor, or vote yes or no on a bill. That's about all they can realistically do," continues CEO Marci Harris. "By focusing the POPVOX platform on pending legislation and not general 'issues,' and making comments on POPVOX public, searchable and sortable by anyone, we are able to turn constituent voices into something that a legislator can actually use.”

Founding Advisor and financial backer Tim O'Reilly says, "POPVOX brings a unique blend of Capitol Hill savvy and Silicon Valley technology to the problem of measuring and managing advocacy. You can think of it as a kind of Google Analytics service for politics, bringing visibility and actionable insight to both Congressional staffers and advocacy organizations."

In less than a month of pre-beta, POPVOX has attracted the attention of individuals, Congressional staff and advocacy organizations across the country. Several bills slated for consideration during the lame duck Congressional session have been the focus of user comments, including H.R. 1751: the American Dream Act and H.R. 3458: the Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009. The POPVOX team is strongly encouraging advocacy organizations to sign up before the end of the year, as it anticipates playing a major role in 2011 as the 112th Congress begins their term in January.

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Rachna Choudhry
POPVOX
202-256-4326
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