You grabbed your wallets, now grab your phones
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Nearly two months into Trump’s presidency, we’ve seen all the stories imploring us to write, call, and fax our senators about the issues that matter most to us. We’ve done our best to digest and implement most of them. Of course, GOOD is certainly guilty of adding to the mounting pile of well-intentioned suggestions, mostly because we can’t imagine not. But we really mean it this time when we say there’s a tech tool that will take the headache out of reaching out to your congresspeople. It’s called “Resistbot,” and it’s by far the easiest way to gradually chip away at Trump’s spirit.
Here’s how it works:
Text “resist” to 50409.
You’ll be prompted to provide your name, zip code, and a message you’d like to send to your senators.
Once you’re happy with your message, Resistbot will format it to look professional and fax it to both of your senators.
And that’s about it. Should you want to fax your representatives as well, you can always text Resistbot your full address. You can text “resist” any time you want to send another message, as well as edit or preview a letter before you send it. Launched on March 8, the bot is already receiving some positive attention. But don’t assume its designers are merely targeting progressives. As one of the cocreators, Jason Putorti, told Recode via email, “We will faithfully deliver any message our users send in, but the voice of the product is for the liberals and conservatives in opposition to the Trump administration.” (The emphasis is Putorti’s.)
Cocreator Eric Ries saw a need for streamlining the process of opposing Trump, writing on Product Hunt, “Resistbot was born out of my personal frustrations with trying to contact my members of Congress. I know it's important to do it every day, and there are dozens of blog posts and websites that tell you only a certain way ‘counts’—calls, emails, faxes, town halls, etc.” But for your voice to really count, daily communication has to be practical, leading Ries and his cocreators to come up with the bot solution while making design improvements open source.
While faxes might not necessarily seem as effective as calling your senator or showing up in person to raise hell, Putorti argues that faxes are “just as effective or more so (than phone calls) because there’s no way to truly verify if a call is from a constituent,” Recode reports. “What staffers need are tallies,” says Putorti, “turning constituent input into a count of support for or against. Ideally there would be a much better system for this, but our democracy isn't perfect, it's incredibly messy.”
As messy as governmental processes may be, it’s solutions like these that seem to pave a way for better communication between constituents and their elected officials. Our representatives can only do a better job addressing the needs of this country by hearing more from everyday people, not less. As for Trump, he’s about to find out just how much we lazy millennials love to text.