There’s a pretty great new website called www.wethelobby.com. You should probably share it with all of your friends, because it’s a model that might actually make a decent dent in advancing important arguments for and against proposed legislation. It gives a productive megaphone to the 99% who can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars to have their own lobbyist on the hill, because let’s be honest, access to our government officials by individuals isn’t as simple as it should be. And, lobbyists are the chief educators outside of each officials staff, so their voices (mostly) have credence. They know how to talk so legislators will listen, and can finesse an argument in a way that an unexperienced advocate might not have the knowhow to do.
So how does it work that you get represented by a legit lobbyist in Washington about an issue that you care about by only contributing whatever amount you can? The model is powered by crowdsourced funding of causes nominated by fellow contributors. Similar to the Kickstarter model, a fundraising goal is set, people contribute any amount towards whatever cause(s) they want, they only pay their pledge if the fundraising goal is reached, and those causes that complete their fundraising goals move forward to lobby. While Kickstarter’s projects are almost all a physical product, We The Lobby’s product is to make sure a strong lobby on ill-represented issues is supported. Simple. Smart. Hopefully successful.
I love this type of pragmatic social entrepreneurship, and look forward to watching it take off!