Listen to Episode 16: Bart Myers of Countable
Bart Myers, the founder of Countable, comes onto the show. He tells us how citizens can use the platform to become more involved in the political process simply by using his app. Additionally, we discuss Countable’s impact, who uses it, and what the future holds for the service.
Brief Show Notes
What is Countable?
Countable allows you to learn about legislation and voice your opinions to your representatives. Countable provides brief arguments for and against legislation, a summary of the bill itself, and allows the users to vote yay or nay on each bill. Pieces of legislation voted on thousands of times, and receive hundreds of written opinions. For example, HR 601, a disaster relief funding bill, currently has over 4,000 opinions with hundreds of endorsements on each side. After voting, users are given the opportunity to send a message directly to their lawmaker.
How do citizens and legislators use Countable?
Countable uses data, like location, to connect constituents with their representatives and bring them more relevant legislation. This data allows lawmakers to better understand the communities they represent. In fact, many lawmakers actually recommend Countable as an easy way to understand complicated legislation.
“There is a myriad of issues that affect us as a society. They’re not political, they’re real.” ~ Bart Myers, CEO of Countable
How do you see our current political climate?
The majority of the country is not divided; they want solutions to the most pressing problems. Theses aren’t partisan issues, they’re things we share in common.
“Really the most rewarding part of countable is just seeing how people use it and engage with it.” ~ Bart Myers, CEO of Countable
Who uses Countable?
Countable attracts a diverse demographic. When the app first launched, it attracted younger people. However, after the election the age demographic became more evenly distributed from 18-65 years old. Its user base is slightly more female than male, a 55% to 45% split. New York, Texas, and California are the most popular states, but users are spread out throughout the country. Similarly, the views on Countable are very diverse:
“We don’t look at people in terms of red and blue. We look at people in grades of purple. In particular, we’re always intrigued by the variance of responses. You can have somebody who appears on social issues to be very conservative but then flips over on a tax issue or an issue like Medicare. We see that a lot. I think when you look at the merits of an issue…then you’re free to come to your own opinion.” ~ Bart Myers, CEO of Countable
Over the last year the platform has expanded. It now includes editorial elements and articles detailing a range of solutions pressing problems. We also discuss whether it will ever include state legislation. Expanding to the states, however, can be a little tricky: they’re not in session all year round and not all bills go to a vote.
“Our goal is to have every American have the Countable app on their phones.” ~ Bart Myers, CEO of Countable
What advice do you have for getting involved
- Getting informed. Learn about the issues. This step helps you decide how serious you are about getting involved in the political process.
- Start getting involved. Can be as simple as voting on a bill on Countable, or as much as helping on a local campaign.
Contact Bart on Twitter: @bartolah
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