2007: “I don’t think we’re going to make it,” John Doerr said in an emotional TED talk about climate change and investment. To create a world fit for his daughter to live in, he says, we need to invest now in clean, green energy.
It’s powerfully moving when a Master Of The Universe despairs so publicly, on the TED main stage no less. It’s even more poignant when 200 million non-denier Americans can do nothing about it over the next dozen years.
Can the Doerrs defeat Recreational Malevolence?
No, that’s not a Jim Morrison docudrama: John Doerr’s public despair has had no effect on Congress for a dozen years, nor has his daughter Mary’s Inconvenient Youth project. This is a story about the improbably energetic Sangeeth Peruri and his vision for VoterCircle, now branded OutreachCircle.
John & Mary Doerr need what OutreachCircle announced this week.
Maybe the Doerrs of the world can recognize the value of an entirely new platform. Let’s call it Influence-as-a-Service, IaaS, managing a nuanced Congressional committee strategy and the key committees’ swing votes to move policy to the floor of the House or Senate, pushed by committee members’ verified constituents, particularly the 1 or 2 swing votes on each committee that are required to chisel away at the Congressional dinosaurs’ protection racket:
That’s how OutreachCircle’s Secret Sauce sweetens the sausage.
FanBoy confession: 18 months ago, I wrote VoterCircle Has the Secret Sauce:
I think VoterCircle has a higher purpose, much bigger than electing better politicians: passing better laws. Why not adapt their platform to line up verified constituents to lobby their representatives to pass good laws?
Why? Politicians rarely do what they promise, so it’s better to surround them after they’re elected, with motivated, verified constituents demanding that they pass specific bills, in specific committees, on specific schedules. (See Phil Windley’s Verifying Constituency: A Sovrin Use Case).
Who could guess that Sangeeth’s platform would pivot so dramatically, to cross the chasm and re-brand from VoterCircle to OutreachCircle, adding four new modalities to their original, single focus:
OutreachCircle has spent the last two years redesigning their service from the ground up to do more than elect the right politicians. OutreachCircle now helps the right people– constituents–surround their representatives after they’re elected and lean in with enough clout to change the policy calculus in any Congressional committee. Here’s where it’s going:
1️⃣ Tell OutreachCircle to find out who your friends’ politicians are, so it knows what Congressional committees those politicians are on, and which of those politicians are most vulnerable to a challenge.
2️⃣ It’s just math: enough constituents can easily sway any politician. Barney Frank, 2012:
If the voters have a position, the votes will kick money’s rear end any time. No one has ever said to me, “I’m sorry, but I’ve got a big contributor I can’t offend.”
Next up: A Grassroots Primary Firewall Service
When Influence-as-a-Service is a thing, every incumbent politician will want to partner with a group of motivated, Iaas-equipped constituents, verified by a trusted 3rd party Identity Provider, as Phil Windley described 2–1/2 years ago:
Britt Blaser’s been trying to solve this problem for a while…Imagine, for example, a website that publishes all tweets that contain the hashtag
#UTCD3, but only if they are from twitter handles that are certified to have come from people who live in Congressional District 3.
A more ambitious use case would merge these verifications with the NewGov GEOvoter API to place the tweets on interactive maps to show where hotspots are. Combined with sentiment analysis, the constituency proof could be used to show political sentiment across the country, across the state, or within the local water district.
The resulting virtual contract, a Grassroots Primary Firewall is obvious:
“Mr. Representative, support our values & we’ll support you against outsiders.”