Who Are We?
Hello! We are a young progressive organization known as thedownballot. Born out of the political upheaval of 2020, thedownballot is a civic tech platform designed to help constituents translate progressive politics into praxis through down-ballot elections, mutual aid, and community organizing.
What Problem Are We Trying to Solve?
The complex political landscape keeps constituents disconnected from local elections that directly impact legislation on police brutality, healthcare access, covid-19 relief, and other socio-political issues. As a result, a large amount of legislation does not reflect the will of the public. Rather, it is largely shaped by older, more affluent constituents who are seven times more likely to vote in local elections than voters aged 18 to 34. In contrast, 70% of Gen Z and 64% of Millennial voters believe that the government has a large role to play in solving socio-economic issues. Our platform aims to bridge this gap by making critical information about upcoming downballot elections accessible to all.
Where Are We Now?
We’ve had 2 MVPs (minimal viable products) thus far and have recently finished covering the New York City Council primary election. Our next goal is to take all that we have learned and apply it to coverage of the 2022 midterms. In addition, we’re working to introduce new product builds that will allow users to easily and seamlessly engage not only with local politics, but community events (protests, gatherings, marches, etc.) as well.
What Are We Looking For?
As we grow, we’re seeking software engineers to help bring our vision to life. We’re seeking volunteers from all sorts of backgrounds, ranging from students looking to work on a pro-bono project for class credit, etc., to anyone who is interested in kindly offering their skills to a growing non-profit.
How Much Time is Required for This Volunteering Opportunity?
We are a small team of passionate individuals who also have day jobs and other commitments. We highly respect the time of every single volunteer working on this project and only ask for 1-3 hrs per week of commitment. Typically, volunteers will spend 1-2 hours a week. Rarely does anyone work for longer hours as work-life balance is incredibly important.
Why Should You Join Our Team?
This past year we have made connections with up-and-coming politicians, content creators, and educators who believe in our mission. We are working to create a movement that empowers young voters to utilize multiple strategies to make their demands heard in a manner that is accessible, transparent, and actionable. In addition, while we are a non-profit actively trying to raise funds, we are also working on methods of monetizing our work to ensure that our volunteers are able to receive compensation in 2022 without burdening users with fees of any kind.
In short, our aim is to provide political education by demystifying the complex world of politics and creating a community of people who share a similar goal – if that is you, please don’t hesitate to reach out!
Thank you so much for your time and we look forward to connecting with any interested individuals! In the meantime, you can find our work on our website at thedownballot.org as well as on our Instagram page.