OurSociety - Propelify
OurSociety
  • New Jersey
  • Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • 06/20/2017
  • http://oursociety.org
  • Pre-Seed Stage
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Application

OurSociety is a non-partisan, 501c3 non-profit, free and open election campaign platform for candidates running for office at all levels of government. We're empowering more people than ever before to become local leaders by removing the financial barriers associated with running for office.

The US population is currently struggling with one of the most significant political and ideological divides in our history. Our current political climate is uncertain, and our society is more polarized than ever. 75% of the US population views participants in our political process as corrupt and understandably so as “dark money” donors funnel hundreds of millions of dollars into campaigns with total donations since 2008 exceeding a billion dollars. Challenges that affect all Americans (and global citizens) such as climate change and the massive concentrations of wealth are politicized and shuffled into a “team” perspective that prioritizes winning the contest over the solution of the issues. 93% of all elections decided after voting day are won by the candidate with the most money. We are losing out on a tremendous amount of human potential because our system of government was designed to be cash heavy. The challenge in solving these issues is not one of means and resources, but rather political willpower. At OurSociety we believe the goals listed on the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals could be achieved faster and more efficiently with more democracy. OurSociety is a tool to unlock the real potential of our democracy by removing the financial barriers associated with running for office and in turn empowering more people to participate in community leadership at the local level and beyond. We've combined tech, entrepreneurship, and innovation by creating a platform that provides all candidates space to discuss their mandates in an issue-focused manner, away from the rhetoric and showmanship common in traditional politics. Also, we've built a custom Social Value Matching algorithm to make engaging in the voting process more accurate, easier, and more convenient than ever before for the average citizen. It's our vision that through innovative tools we can raise the temperature of our democracy here in the U.S. and the long-term around the world. As society evolves so must our institutions. OurSociety uses the data inputted by our users to identify collaborative, democratic trends. We do this by identifying the issues most commonly supported in specific regions - we then release that data to the public. We aim to help demonstrate to Americans that by focusing our efforts on cooperative projects we can accomplish much more than we currently believe. As a non-profit, we think that it's time we use all of our collective data for the public good. If we seek to make a real and lasting change in the world, we first need to empower the people with the vision and experience to drive us forward into leadership positions so that governments and organizations can collaborate to address these issues.

The project is about to launch our MVP (or just launched depending on when you are reading this). Our team is an all-volunteer team, and our efforts are focused on grassroots outreach and education in the two local congressional districts we are showcasing our MVP. Right now we're working for four candidates, all under the age of 35, who are facing some deeply entrenched competitors in the state of New Jersey. These four candidates are bringing new vision and excitement back to the race for Congressional Leadership here in NJ, and OurSociety has allowed them to reach thousands of people that they would have never come in contact with on their own. Because all four candidates refuse corporate/special interest sponsorship, they are facing competitors who are using vast sums of money to silence them. OurSociety and our team are spreading the word at local events during each week telling people that there are options in the race and checking out the candidates who support elections that don't rely on cash. Also, our team is conducting significant community outreach through the free civic engagement seminars we teach at local High Schools in the districts that our candidates are running, holding community planning events, organizing rallies to increase voter turnout and participation, and creating content that highlights elected officials under the age of 35. Even in our pre-MVP stage, we've built a following in the local communities we are operating in of people who are excited about a reimagining of democracy and a more convenient way to vote for the person most aligned with their values.

OurSociety is a wholly bootstrapped project funded and operated by a team of dedicated volunteers. Ron Rivers - Founder: Business Development/Marketing - Before OurSociety Ron founded the e-commerce business Love2brew in 2011 which is still in operation today with a healthy and long-term team, generating annual revenues of 1M+ year over year. Ron is an impassioned student of political theory, technology, and the evolution of human potentail. Tressa Rivers - Grant Writing/Graphic Design: Tressa is a professional graphic designer working out of Manhattan NY. Recently her career focus has shifted to work that helps support communities and the people within them. Jason Witkowski - DevOps: Jason is an industry expert in DevOps holding numerous System Engineering positions over a wide variety of tech organizations. Jason acts as a consultant advising in our development and technical direction. Ben Bakelaar - UX Design: Ben is the Founder of HXSDesign - a UX training and consulting firm. Ben designed and consulted on current and future UX direction to make sure our users are experiencing the political process easily and conveniently. Sarah Kelly - Director: Sarah joined the OurSociety Board and had brought her extensive non-profit and activism experience to our team. She regularly consults with Ron on best practices, outreach options, and event strategies. Sean Berry - Director: Sean joined the OurSociety Board when he heard we needed an expert on Non-Profit Finance. Sean has been involved in non-profit financial affairs for the past seven years and advises the team on financial and regulatory matters.
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