Activism is hard.
We get it. It's not that we don't care -- it's just hard to find time for activism in our busy schedules.
In today's politically divided climate, it's even more important to make your voice heard as citizen in US politics. One of the easiest concrete actions you can do to make your political voice heard is to contact your representatives in local, state, and federal legislative bodies.
We see a push in phone-banking events and Facebook posts encouraging congressional letter-writing every time a contentious, high-impact bill is on the table. But still, it can be hard to make sure you're adequately informed about the bill and then actually take that step to craft your message and contact your representatives.
Political engagement is the pillar of American democracy. Pillar makes advocacy easy.
What does Pillar do?
When you sign up for Pillar, you choose the issues you care about. When legislation related to those issues comes up at the state or federal level, you'll receive and alert in a weekly text message. When you click the alert and sign into Pillar, you can review all relevant legislation and how your representatives stand on the legislation. With just two clicks, you can generate a phone script or a letter to email or physically send in.
How we built it
Challenges we ran into
What we learned
We jumped into this project with the goal of learning new technologies and frameworks. Most of us had never done web development in Python before. The project also allowed us to learn new APIs (i.e. Twilio and Propublica) and web frameworks (i.e. Flask and Vue.js).
What's next for Pillar
We are in the process of building a page that shows data visualizations of the bills and legislative representatives' voting histories.