TNL Conclave: App-enabled Participatory Democracy in the USA

Presenter: Michael Lord

Imagine a democracy where constituents are engaged, not every two or four years, but every day! Engaged civically in local, state and federal legislation. The  motivating mission for our work is two-fold: Engagement and Accountability in governance. Are legislators voting in-line with their constituents’ interests or desires? People are voting each day on social media through “like’s” and comments. Can this model of participation be extended to how we run a democratic state? These are the kinds of questions we want to answer as we aim to build a more engaged, more robust, more accountable democracy. 

We examined a civic participation model in which citizens engage with the governance process via an app. The mobile application will enable users to view pending legislation, vote based on a summary briefing of the proposal, and track the voting records of legislators. The application will aim to close the information and accountability loop between constituents and their elected representatives.

Michael Lord appreciates the opportunity to present to a distinguished group of individuals. His background is in accounting and finance where he serves as a fractional CFO to several companies. The part-time basis affords him the opportunity to research and develop products and ideas. In addition to Yea Nay, he is currently developing a 3D printing company that uses LiDAR to print golf courses.

TNL disclaimer: this work represents experimental, exploratory, and often in-progress or preliminary efforts. One goal of the TNL is to get interesting approaches, topics, and concepts discussed and presented quickly. This work has not been peer-reviewed and is not an official RAND publication. No warranties implied or expressed, your mileage may vary, enter as often as you like.

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