Menlo Park, California based iLobby has released a beta version of its grassroots-lobbying platform. The site describes their application as a “Political Persuasion Platform”. Founded in 2012, the site intends on catering to small businesses and trade associations. It offers an open community debate platform and constituent mapping to make it easy for users to advance their cause. Using the power of technology and social networks, iLobby intends to give constituents in any Congressional District the same voice as any special interest group.
Voters can join iLobby for free and begin to engage on issues that matter to them. They can debate issues, add arguments or simply vote to express support. iLobby differs from political blogs and petition sites in that it combines crowdsourcing with crowd-funding to create an actionable solution. Users fund winning debates and the proceeds are used to hire a lobbyist of their choice.
“The problem for the average American or small business owner is that they have been left out of the political dialog,” said Founder John Thibault. “This platform brings that within reach and makes lobbying accessible and affordable for everyone.”
The platform also helps voters build an effective coalition of other like-minded voters in districts where influence on their particular issue is wielded. From there voters are matched with lobbyists, effectively creating an ad-hoc coalition around an issue. As users become more politically engaged this will serve them by empowering individual voters to let their Member of Congress know what they think in a way that will actually influence law makers.
“In theory, the tyranny of the minority would be diminished,” said Thibault.