There are many issues in Congress at any given time, and keeping up with them can be challenging. Out of the 7,415 bills introduced during the 115th Congress, only 127 became laws. When there are many bills being introduced on a daily basis, how can advocates keep up with the ones that matter most? Stay informed about what congressional legislations may impact the arts with Countable. Countable is the one-stop online resource with all of an advocate’s needs. Learn more about legislation that may impact the arts such as Net Neutrality or the proposed budget cuts to the NEA, and take action by contacting elected officials all on this platform. Countable makes it simple for advocates to stay up to date with Congress, and it provides a holistic view of each issue pending in Capitol Hill.
Countable informs advocates of all aspects surrounding the pending bills in Congress. Advocates can follow and vote for the bills they care about on the platform. After participating in a vote, Countable users can leave a comment about why they voted, giving other users information on both sides issues. Each bill profile features a summary, list of cosponsors, legislation status, and a complete set of text documents specific to the bill. It also lists media sources about the proposed bill and users can continue the conversation by clicking the share buttons for social media and email.
Advocates can also curate what issues to follow because Countable separates out bills by content. For example, arts advocates can follow arts-related legislations can be found in the Arts, Culture, Religion section. Users can create their own Countable profiles or sign-in through Facebook. Once signed in, users can update their address and link them to their elected officials as well as selecting the issues to follow. Countable users can also take the Congressional Compatibility Quiz to see if elected officials truly representing each constituent’s interests.
Not only can advocates stay updated with Congress’s progress, but can also directly call or send messages to their elected official. According to a WIRED article, a phone call is the best way to not just reach your representative, but affect them. Countable users can communicate to their legislators via phone call, email, or video message by clicking the ‘Tell Your Reps’ or ‘Take Action’ buttons embedded on each issue’s page. Users can also search lawmaker profiles. Each lawmaker’s profile features contact information, and their voting and sponsoring history.
Countable designed the first video advocacy platform where advocates can send a personalized message to enable legislators to take action on the issues. Countable created this feature because modern Americans are increasingly on their cell phones and video messages create a personal touch. Video messages can be recorded directly from Countable’s website or by downloading the Countable app for an Apple or Android device.
Individual advocates can utilize all of Countable’s features for free. Advocacy nonprofit organizations can also create their profiles on Countable and utilize similar individual features. If an organization was to further mobilize their advocates, they can do so by using Political Action Center, but would need to request a demo to test out the platform.
Whether it is advocating as an organization or as an individual, remember to stay updated, be informed, and stay positive. These three steps lead to effective advocacy efforts. No matter what is at stake, be sure to have a well-rounded understanding of the issues that and continue to take action. It is important to advocate for the arts is again crucial this year. The use of various platforms like Countable will help arts advocates to be effective in their efforts and triumph again to save the NEA. What advocacy technology tools do you use? Be sure to share in the comments below!
“Advocacy Organizations - Countable.” Accessed February 9, 2018. https://www.countable.us/about/nonprofits.
“Congressional Compatibility Quiz.” Accessed February 17, 2018. https://www.countable.us/compatibility-quiz/house-2017.
“Contact Your Reps, Influence Congress, Vote on Bills - Countable.” Accessed February 9, 2018. https://www.countable.us/.
Pierce, David. “Congress’s Phone System Is Broken---But It’s Still Your Best Shot.” WIRED, February 3, 2017. Accessed February 15, 2018. https://www.wired.com/2017/02/call-congress-phone-system-broken/.
“Political Action Center.” Countable Action (blog). Accessed February 9, 2018. https://countableaction.com/political-action-center/.
“Video Advocacy - Countable.” Accessed February 9, 2018. https://www.countable.us/about/video-advocacy.