#studentspotlight: Democracy coded into action

In today’s tech obsessed fast paced world, what counts as political action? Senior Allie McInerney has built a site she hopes will inspire and encourage folks to send more tactile feedback, which she says stands out from online complaints. “I built the site more out of frustration than hope”, she says. The site, found here, allows constituents to enter in their address and send mail to their senate reps. Allie, who worked for Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill before transferring to MMC, says that actual mail has great weight on Capital Hill (#nopunintended). “Phone calls can go unanswered and unrecorded, but every piece of mail gets scanned and entered into a database [called VOICE], which they have to look at an engage with.” This outdated process is, Allie says, the best way for folks to be heard by their reps.

canyouhear

Here’s how her site works:

The homepage allows you to pick which side of the impeachment debate you’re on. You can send mail directly to the White House, or (as shows in the above screen shots) you can enter your address and send mail to your Senators. Once you’ve selected where the postcards will go, a pre-written message appears. You can edit that message, or sign and send. Each card costs $1 #affordable, and Allie plans to send 50% of the profits to a non-profit daycare center for single moms back in Missouri called Operation Breakthrough.

Eventually Allie and her partners plan to expand this site to include other hot button issues (like taxes, campaign finance reform, healthcare, immigration, climate change, gun policy, and our education system, to name just a few.) Allie is double majoring in Politics and Human Rights, along with Philosophy, and says that despite her frustration she does still have hope. While working for Senator McCaskill she made friends with a Republican staffer, a relationship she still cherishes, and says they were able to peaceably discuss issues and still care about one another “I don’t think ideology defines us, or separates us inherently.”

wellsaid

Head to Allie’s easy to use site to make sure your voice is heard during what can be an extremely confusing process, and check back for more issues to be heard on soon! Stay woke and be kind, and thanks for reading.

 

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