Political activism, discussion and debate are at an all-time high in America. Every day, we are completely surrounded by politics. Politics, it seems, is everywhere and in everything.
More than a year ago, three friends from Dallas began asking their peers two simple questions: Can you name the people who represent you in Congress? And if so, do you know how they are representing you day-to-day by voting? They posed those two questions to anyone and everyone who would listen. And they kept getting the same unnerving results: most people could not answer the first question, and absolutely no one could answer the second. Even with the rising political tides and 24/7 political coverage, Americans didn’t seem any more knowledgeable.
Those three friends — Trent Koen, Tyree Pearson and Arya Ayati — realized they had stumbled upon a serious problem underlying every community and neighborhood in America: political unawareness. While researching why so many Americans did not have or could not find these answers, they discovered that Americans desperately want to know more about their elected officials and how they’re being represented. But people didn’t have the knowledge or facts they needed because easy access to this basic information doesn’t exist.
Congress — for better or for worse — keeps information in a labyrinth of government websites and archives. The information is out there, publicly available and free. However, if you are not a political operative or staffer, you really have no chance of finding the answers, especially not quickly.
Koen, Pearson and Ayati felt Americans should be able to find the plain and pure facts they want. The team brought on James Fletcher, a Dallas native and former political operative who shared their vision, and started crafting a solution.
That solution is Penhole — a mobile application with a single goal: Make democracy easy.
Penhole puts all the political facts Americans want directly on their phones. In less time than it takes to dial a phone number, anyone can identify their federal representatives, review a representative’s vote history, explore all the legislation under a certain field of interest and contact elected officials directly via phone, email or social media.
Penhole aims to increase political accountability by providing an easy platform for individuals to express their voices. Penhole seeks to keep people informed with unbiased, straightforward political information, so that more Americans can tell the government their opinions on every issue.
Penhole isn’t stopping at the federal level, either; it is progressing to the state and municipal levels, too. In a time when politics is everywhere and in everything, Penhole strives to help Americans see what is going on and who is behind it. Having a clear understanding of the political system shouldn't be a chore and shouldn’t require sifting through bias or spin.
Penhole is just the facts — plain and simple.
Penhole is Democracy made easy.