This Start-Up Wants To Put 100 Progressive Women In Congress By 2020

Project 100’s founders have decided to bridge the gap between “talk” and “action” in a fascinating way.

Cries for diversity alone, no matter how numerous, can’t be equated with actual empowerment. But Project 100 aims to ensure that progressive women who decide to run for office can raise funds, recruit volunteers, and market themselves to create a successful campaign for office.

The new start-up platform is being run by former leader of the Tony Blair Foundation Danielle Gram, writer Isabel Kaplan, and former U.S. Digital Service creative director Eduardo Ortiz. Former Google politics head Eric Hysen serves as a senior adviser to the company.

The founders’ experience in politics taught them that while good intentions are a noble first step, the ability to manage and run a campaign, especially with limited resources, is what so often keeps qualified candidates from election.

Their mission statement, per the Project 100 website:

“Our digital platform gives everyday activists the tools they need to find and support the strongest candidates running so that women who deserve to lead can gain the backing they need to win.”

From their experiences in the public sector, the founders knew better than to develop a naively idealistic “cure” for the current lack of diversity in politics. Instead of platitudes, Hysen uses more straightforward means of harness public attention to level the playing field for the project’s candidates.

“A lot of start-ups tried to make the one shiny app that everyone will get on their phones and suddenly will make the entire world politically engaged. That's an idealistic view of how politics works that doesn't line up with the real world,” Hysen said. “I don't think there will ever be the Uber or Google of politics that takes off in the same way you see in Silicon Valley. Every part of this design is designed around how people actually engage in politics, not how we hope they would.”

Designed to serve voters as much as candidates, Project 100 comes online at a time when political issues seem to permeate every facet of life but the action actually taken to effect change remains disproportionately small.

“The time is right for this,” said Danielle Gram. “2.5 million men and women marched in the Women's March. Between the #MeToo movement and activism for equal pay and reproductive rights, everyone is talking about these issues, but they haven't yet found a home for action. We want to be where they can go.”

Image via Project 100.

Project 100’s current goal is to “achieve 100 progressive women serving in Congress by 2020, the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote” — and that effort is already underway as they promote candidates in congressional districts throughout the nation.

The project seeks progressive candidates with aligning views on these three issues:

  • Equal treatment under the law. We believe all people, regardless of gender, sexuality, race, or physical ability deserve equal protection and opportunity. This means supporting LGBTQ equality, criminal justice reform, defense of voting rights, and immigration reform.

  • Economic opportunity. Americans deserve job opportunities that afford a living wage, and people deserve equal payment for equal work. We support candidates who will expand access to quality public education, address rising inequality, create jobs and raise incomes.

  • Healthy people and communities. All people deserve access to affordable health care, communities free of violence, bigotry and hatred. We support candidates in favor of gun violence prevention, contraceptive access and reproductive choice, domestic and sexual assault prevention and response, environmental preservation, and health care access for all.

Project 100 pledges an inclusive approach to the candidates it supports and the voters it serves.

Those interested in donating, volunteering, or campaigning themselves can find the resources they require here.

via Honor Africans / Twitter

The problem with American Sign Language (ASL) is that over 500,000 people in the U.S. use it, but the country has over 330 million people.

So for those with hearing loss, the chances of coming into contact with someone who uses the language are rare. Especially outside of the deaf community.

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Looking back, the year 1995 seems like such an innocent time. America was in the midst of its longest streak of peace and prosperity. September 11, 2001 was six years away, and the internet didn't seem like much more than a passing fad.

Twenty-four years ago, 18 million U.S. homes had modem-equipped computers, 7 million more than the year before. Most logged in through America Online where they got their email or communicated with random strangers in chat rooms.

According to a Pew Research study that year, only 32% of those who go online say they would miss it "a lot" if no longer available.

Imagine what those poll numbers would look like if the question was asked today.

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"Few see online activities as essential to them, and no single online feature, with the exception of E-Mail, is used with any regularity," the Pew article said. "Consumers have yet to begin purchasing goods and services online, and there is little indication that online news features are changing traditional news consumption patterns."

"Late Night" host David Letterman had Microsoft founder and, at that time the richest man in the world, on his show for an interview in '95 to discuss the "the big new thing."

During the interview Letterman chided Gates about the usefulness of the new technology, comparing it to radio and tape recorders.

Gates seems excited by the internet because it will soon allow people to listen to a baseball game on their computer. To which Letterman smugly replies, "Does radio ring a bell?" to laughter from the crowd.

But Gates presses Letterman saying that the new technology allows you to listen to the game "whenever you want," to which Letterman responds, "Do tape recorders ring a bell?"

Gates then tells Letterman he can keep up with the latest in his favorite hobbies such as cigar smoking or race cars through the internet. Letterman shuts him down saying that he reads about his interests in magazines.

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The discussion ends with the two laughing over meeting like-minded people in "troubled loner chat room on the internet."

The clip brings to mind a 1994 segment on "The Today Show" where host Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric have a similar discussion.

"What is internet anyway?" an exasperated Gumball asks. "What do you write to it like mail?"

"It's a computer billboard but it's nationwide and it's several universities all joined together and it's getting bigger and bigger all the time," a producer explains from off-stage.

Photo by Li-An Lim on Unsplash

The future generations will have to live on this Earth for years to come, and, not surprisingly, they're very concerned about the fate of our planet. We've seen a rise in youth activists, such as Greta Thunberg, who are raising awareness for climate change. A recent survey indicates that those efforts are working, as more and more Americans (especially young Americans) feel concerned about climate change.

A new CBS News poll found that 70% of Americans between 18 and 29 feel climate change is a crisis or a serious problem, while 58% of Americans over the age of 65 share those beliefs. Additionally, younger generations are more likely to feel like it's their personal responsibility to address climate change, as well as think that transitioning to 100% renewable energy is viable. Overall, 25% of Americans feel that climate change is a "crisis," and 35% feel it is a "serious problem." 10% of Americans said they think climate change is a minor problem, and 16% of Americans feel it is not a problem that worries them.

The poll found that concern for the environment isn't a partisan issue – or at least when it comes to younger generations. Two-thirds of Republicans under the age of 45 feel that addressing climate change is their duty, sentiments shared by only 38% of Republicans over the age of 45.

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