Election Day may be over, but instead of waiting another year to get civically engaged, a new app is here to make it easier to call representatives to express opinions over legislation.
The left-leaning app, 5calls.org, provides users with a handy list of issues, contact information for their congressional lawmakers and talking points, among other tips on how to help influence bills in the Republican-majority Congress.
“Turn your passive participation into active resistance,” the website states. “Facebook likes and Twitter retweets can’t create the change you want to see. Calling your government on the phone can.”
The app was launched earlier this year by a tech-savvy couple form San Francisco who note that members of Congress quickly tally constituents’ opinions based on calls and sometimes change their votes on legislation depending upon calls received. The app creators say they’ve helped make nearly two million calls to Congress this year.
It works like this: After logging onto 5calls.org or downloading the free app from Apple App Store or Google Play, simply enter a ZIP Code, click issues of concern and then read from the provided talking points when calling lawmakers the app targets for its users. The makers suggest limiting one issue per call to be more effective.
The issues the app offers to choose from are mostly along the lines of who to call to help get gun control measures passed or who to dial to try to block a Trump administration nomination. Without a conservative version of the app, the right still has to call their lawmakers the old-fashioned way.
And although all politics may be local, the app doesn’t help users understand regional issues or contact representatives from their state, county, town, village or special districts, such as school boards. The public still has to research local issues for themselves, look up contact information for the municipality they want to complain to and actually think for themselves instead of relying on talking points provided by an app.
To get the ball rolling for those more worried about what’s happening in their community than the nation’s capitol, the League of Women Voters has handy guides to contact information for local representatives in Nassau and Suffolk. But keep in mind a few names may have changed since yesterday’s election.