Civic Activism

ReAct : An App from Journalists Fighting the New Administration

So Trump won. Now what? The resistance is rising: People want to engage in politics like never before. We see resistance as a vast, scalable and untapped resource—if we can harness it. How?

We already have a roadmap: Every political campaign builds an amazing app that empowers voters to act with precision and power. But every election cycle—poof!—this fine-tuned weaponry gets deleted, and we’re back to the Stone Age: Memorizing congressional phone numbers, scanning calls to action on Facebook or email, and daydreaming of 2020.

Why is civic activism still in analogue?

Question: Why do these apps get deleted? Bigger question: We use phones to order food, find love, and manage our money. Why not democracy? Why is civic action stuck in analogue?

The idea:

We call it ReAct: The first all-in-one civic app to fight Trump, and much more. We see every phone as a progressive weapon, every user an ace activist.

To do this, we have three goals:

1: Offer the advantages of the best campaign apps—with grassroots street cred—plus, ours won’t disappear after an election.

2: Make an app where civic action is addictive and fun;

3: Absolutely key—create a way for direct actions to go viral, just like Vines or Tweets.

The specs:

First, it should let users follow issue categories that matter to them, with actions populated by major groups—to “follow” causes like immigration or civil rights, with direct actions offered by groups like the ACLU or Black Lives Matter. Second, it should sound the alarm—like a flood warning, we need a Trump warning. Third, each action item should have an “action toolbox,” so calling Congress is easy (script, bill info, “share action” and Congress number). Finally, we need to build a web-browser auxiliary: When an action gets shared and short-linked on Twitter, anyone can take part, and join the app.

We are: Two journalists who love politics and know activism.

You are:

Excited about this project; a good team player; brimming with ideas; generous of spirit and smart as hell; good looking (okay, you go to Stanford – that’s a given); a rock star ready to fight back.

Level 1: Basic functions: Onboarding; Follow issues; Pending-actions feed; Action pages. CMS for managing/pushing actions to followers. Browser auxiliary. Must work on iOS and Android.

Level 2: Social functions within app. See what actions friends are completing and react; leaderboards see how users stack up against friends and users across app.

Level 3: Gamify the app. Actions gain points, badges and rewards as users reach milestones. We’re on a quest for the Great White Whale of tech politics: The civic engagement app. That’s why we’ve come to Stanford—to find the tech-makers and world-changers who are visionary enough to make it happen. Come join our team! And may the Resistance be strong with you.