What Good Is My Vote?
Santa Cruz, California is, in many ways, an ideal laboratory in which to test and refine and evolve the Civinomics online platform and newsletter. Residents here are familiar with the often times polarized local political environment, especially around issues of public safety, water, homelessness, growth, transportation and a myriad of other topics.
As in many communities, some issues are dominated by vocal minority factions, to the extent that less vocal citizens feel drowned out of the conversation, unheard.
In this polarized, often aggressive, sometimes frustrating environment, the local electorate is left asking a very basic question: what good is my vote? Writ large across the state and the nation, with the addition of limitless PAC funding for issues and candidates, this feeling of civic futility has led to historic low voter turnouts.
Civinomics is very pleased to be rolling out new features to the online platform and newsletters over the coming weeks to help connect Civinomics members to the “listeners”, the elected officials, agency heads and media, in your area:
Leaderboards, Statistics and Graphs, oh my!
In discussions with listeners over the years, one thing which emphasized repeatedly was that it be as easy as possible to go to a single place for feedback, get a broad view, and to have the ability to drill down for details as desired.
Among the updates coming soon to the leaderboard:
- Listing of ranked items by jurisdiction
- Graphs of distribution of votes by yes or no
- Graphs of distribution of votes by zip code
- Graphs of distribution of votes by inside of jurisdiction vs. outside of jurisdiction
- Sharing buttons to make it easier to get your friends to vote on important stuff
- Easy ability to go through pro and con comments on items
The intent is to make it easy for listeners to not only know how their constituents feel about an issue, but why they feel that way.
Better informed listeners better represent their communities.
Listener Newsletters, Feedback and Invitations
We’re not waiting for listeners to come to Civinomics, we’re taking Civinomics to them. We’ve started testing weekly listener newsletters, email digests sent to listeners, which summarize the previous week of online civic activity in their jurisdiction.
We’re also going to make it easier for Civinomics members to send feedback to listeners about items hosted on the Civinomics site, and to invite listeners to become Civinomics members to be able to interact more directly online with their fellow members and constituents.
So What Good Is My Vote?
It’s no good if you don’t vote at all. If you do vote, or have an idea or an initiative or a comment, working together as a community, we’ll make sure the local listeners hear it.
And as our community grows, working together, we’ll make sure the listeners can’t ignore it.