BuildQuorum’s helps citizens and political representatives interact and share ideas via its new public participation platform.
The new platform functions as a forum for the online political community and allows citizens to have an influence on the policy making process by expressing their ideas to appropriate representatives in the government.
Rather than merely showing support with an online signature (that doesn’t have as strong an impact), BuildQuorum users can actually send emails and messages directly to their target representative.
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.
“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’.”
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.
“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.”