1600 Pennsylvania

The future of America and the free world!

The White House

It all started listening to a Ted Talk by Lawrence Lessig, it led us to understand the Republic of Unites States of America and it’s politics.

The deliberations of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 were held in strict secrecy. Consequently, anxious citizens gathered outside Independence Hall when the proceedings ended in order to learn what had been produced behind closed doors.
A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?”
With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

Loads of reading from opensecrets.org , into the funding structure of elections and who pays whom etc. , lot of debates and the sheer enormity of numbers. Some facts and numbers

  1. 535 Congressmen [ Senate : 100 ; House of Representative ; 435]
  2. According to a 1992 study there are around 500,000 elected representatives in the US Government
  3. Only a small fraction of the total money raised by campaigns for presidential elections comes from small donors.
  4. 0.000042% of America represents 60% of PAC money
  5. If you ever win a election, you may remain elected
  6. San Jose city Mayoral elections — Total Votes 0.18M, Winning margin 2,750 . Budget : ~$1B
  7. San Francisco has Ed Lee as the current mayor, and he may be unopposed.
Infographic on 2012 presidential Polls

Attending a large number of meetings such CaliforniaForward ( a bi partisan initiatives By Lee Mendonca) ; Young republicans of San mateo arranged by Jonathan Madison and others, helped understand the challenges surrounding revitalizing the electoral process and bring it to the 21st century.

So we looked around for existing solutions such as twitter and facebook and wanted to verify if they are effective as standalone platforms for electoral politics.

Political Leaders on Twitter

Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton)currently leads the race among the current crop with 4.29M followers , Donald trump (@realDonaldTrump) a close second with 4.23M users. Ben carson is at 656K followers.

Social Media by itself though was deemed as an important by the electorate. A pew research study showed overall almost 16% of the electorate followed their leaders on a social media platform.

These “mobile election news consumers” are more active than other Americans when it comes to certain campaign activities, although in other ways they are similar to the voter pool as a whole. They are more likely to have encouraged people they know to vote or support a particular candidate (58% have done this, compared with 37% of registered voters who do not get campaign news on their cell phone) and to have attended a campaign event (11% vs. 6%). — Pew Research

A germ of a solution started taking shape. The solution has to be mobile, has to have space for comments, debates, news. It had to be exclusive so that we can have a better signal to noise ratio. It had to be hyperlocal and national at the same time. It had to be contextual. It should make the process bi-directional, it should bring the polity and electorate in a tight embrace.

Some 40% of registered voters ages 30–49 have used their cell phones to track election coverage this year, up from just 15% who did so during the previous midterm campaign. — Pew Research

Thus we created 1600 Pennsylvania , where Hopes and Desires create the future of the Republic of USA.

Check it out at http://www.get1600pennsylvania.com/

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