13. Marci Harris

Founder of Popvox, How To Engage Citizens

What:

Harris's startup makes congressional bills easy to understand and track, and connects constituents with members of Congress

How can small changes drive results?

"There's a real need for online civic identity. People have personal lives with Facebook, professional lives with LinkedIn, etc. Popvox provides people with an online civic identity, where they can tag and track legislation and stay informed."

In what way can you humanize politics?

"We try to connect regular citizens to humans in Washington, D.C. There are Congressional offices calling people to say, "Hey, I got the message you submitted on Popvox, and I want to ask you about what you think.' Popvox is the first aggregator of constituents' input."

How can tech be better leveraged in politics?

"Technology is often effective for elections but not for actual policy work after people have taken office. Legislative issues are complex, and people aren't going to spend every hour of the day reading policy papers. Our challenge is creating an interface that makes staying informed more accessible."

Click here to see head-to-head responses to these questions from Harris, plus Purpose founder Jeremy Heimans, and Voto Latino founders Rosario Dawson and Maria Teresa Kumar, Nos. 11 and 12 on our Most Creative People list.

Timeline

  • 2003

    Appointed the Tornado Recovery Coordinator for Jackson, Tennessee

  • 2007

    Completes externship with Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives

  • 2007

    Receives LL.M. in law and government from American University Washington College of Law

  • 2007

    Appointed counsel to Ways and Means Health Subcommittee

  • 2010

    Founds Popvox, Inc. with Rachna Choudhry and Joshua Tauberer

  • 2011

    Popvox reaches 100,000 users across every Congressional district; wins SXSW Microsoft Bizspark Accelerator Competition

Illustration by Alison Cowles

Add New Comment

0 Comments