Today we are announcing a goal of getting 10% of San Francisco voters using Democracy Dashboard for this election. That's 46,000 some-odd voters. We're focusing on San Francisco and California for now (and we've started getting ready for 2012); citizens can sign up anywhere and we'll let them know when we go national. (and then, international!) We have 613 users as of when we're posting this. We just put a counter up on the front page, so we can all see how we're doing. We have a long way to go, but with your help, we think we can get there!
So if you want to be part of something special to improve the political system and empower millions of voters, here's how you can contribute. Just join the site, listen to a couple candidates and groups, and use the social media share buttons to let the world know you've done so. When you're ready to start making decisions, you can build slates like this one. But you don't need to take a position or endorse a candidate or anything to get started. Just signing up, listening and sharing will start the process of convincing campaigns that making a direct connection on DemDash is more helpful than expensive mail or TV ads.
We also just built a great tool for listening! Under Your Next Election, check out ElecTweets: we're making it easier than ever to easily follow what's going on in any election, including this November in San Francisco and this little election coming up in 2012.
We know that using Democracy Dashboard to vote works. If you use it to vote this year or next year, you will too. 100% of the feedback we got from people who used the alpha version to vote last year was positive. You'll feel more confident than you ever have about your vote, from the top of the ticket on down the most confusing local proposition. And if you choose to share your ballot and your thinking, your voice will be amplified more than it's ever been.
The challenge we're facing is clear: not enough citizens know we're here. One thing we've learned from getting involved in changing politics is this: there is no cavalry. Change really is up to us. So go sign up, listen to a few candidates and then share it with everyone you know. Twitter, Facebook, email it out to folks, clay tablets, carrier pigeons, sidewalk chalk graffiti, whatever. If your parents or grandparents live in San Francisco, try it out and give 'em a call. (You remember the telephone, right? We've tested the site with a couple grandmothers so far. They love it. Everyone loves it!)
Imagine a world where voters are paying attention to what groups and people they trust, not to TV commercials. And those piles of mail can stay where they are now: as nice happy growing trees! Imagine a world where candidates can focus their energy on talking to voters, discussing ideas, studying solutions, and understanding systems rather than dialing for dollars.
You know that in ten years, the system of democracy in the United States will look completely different than how it looks now. You have a chance to help build this next great version of our democracy.
We have the power. Join, listen and share, on Facebook and on twitter. 45,000 citizen users to go! Thanks for helping to spread the word!