Brigade Takes the TurboVote Challenge

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Brigade, the world’s first network for voters, is pleased to join the TurboVote Challenge, an impressive list of corporate and nonprofit partners who share the goal of achieving 80 percent voter turnout in the United States by 2020. Since launching in March, the nonpartisan effort has grown to more than 40 members from the retail, technology, media and nonprofit sectors amassing unprecedented civic reach.

As part of Brigade’s commitment to the initiative, we’ve integrated TurboVote’s voter registration tool into our website and smartphone apps so that new members of our growing community who are not yet registered can take that critical step before their states’ upcoming voter registration deadlines (reminder: National Voter Registration Day is tomorrow).

Once registered, Brigade users become a “verified voter” on the platform and earn a special badge that appears alongside their avatar when they take actions like pledging their vote for candidates and creating or joining debates on issues that matter to them. Verified voters on Brigade can then begin to hold their elected representatives accountable when they take their oath of office in and well into the future.

In addition to Brigade, new members of the Challenge include Facebook, Instagram, Google, Uber, Foursquare, MTV, Salesforce, Tumblr, USA Today Network and others. You can see the full list of members here and read the press release announcing the campaign’s expansion here.  You can learn about the strategies being implemented by some Challenge members here.

Brigade on Sirius XM’s “Launch Pad”

Recently, our CEO Matt Mahan sat down with Professor Karl Ulrich, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania’s Vice Dean of Innovation for a chat about Brigade, empowering voters and the 2016 election. Matt also talked about what it’s like to be a startup founder and offered advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Their hour-long discussion originally aired on Sirius XM Channel 111, Business Radio Powered by The Wharton School.

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You can listen to it here:

 

 

Brigade Joins “We The Voters” Campaign

At Brigade, we believe that technology can fundamentally change how citizens engage in our system of government. New approaches to spur civic participation must meet voters where they are — on their smartphones, tablets and laptops — and through popular mediums like short, sharable videos.

13873141_1759479617657846_8101702063106208224_nThat’s why we’re excited to partner with “We The Voters,” a nonpartisan digital slate of 20 short films designed to inform, inspire and ultimately activate voters.

Rosario Dawson, Joshua Malina (ABC’s “Scandal”), Anabelle Acosta (NBC’s “Quantico”), Ana Ortiz (Lifetime’s “Devious Maids”), Analeigh Tipton (Crazy, Stupid, Love), YouTube star Grace Helbig and others take on big issues facing our country, including student debt, inequality, healthcare, immigration and media polarization.

The first 10 films debut today on 60 major distribution platforms including leading media outlets, mobile platforms and streaming video providers. The second 10 films will debut October 12 on the same channels. You can view the films as they are released at WeTheVoters.com and find new ways to engage with Brigade after watching.

Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions partnered with production companies Show of Force and Morgan Spurlock’s Warrior Poets to create this mix of comedies, documentaries and animated shorts with the goal of helping voters, particularly millennials, make informed choices that will impact them now and for decades to come.

Check out the trailer:

Clinton vs. Trump: Watch the Debates with Us

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The 2016 election has already been full of unforgettable moments and Bay Area Brigade fans are invited to join us, Hotel Zetta, INFORUM and KQED to watch Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump face off during three televised presidential debates!

Our bipartisan, invite-only viewing parties on Monday, Sept. 26, Sunday, Oct. 9 and Wednesday, Oct. 19 are the perfect place to debate and discuss issues that matter to you as Clinton and Trump make their best arguments for why each should be Commander-in-Chief.

Bring your friends and your opinions; we’ll provide the fun and refreshments. These are ticketed, 21-and-over events and space is limited. Don’t forget to RSVP at brigade.com/watchparties.

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Brigade, the world’s first network for voters, was founded in 2014 to tackle the problem of declining citizen power and engagement in our political system. The San Francisco-based startup is building tools to help voters take back control of their democracy and elect politicians who will keep their promises. Brigade is available at brigade.com, in the App Store and on Google Play.

The Inforum division of the Commonwealth Club produces Bay Area events where you can meet celebrities in entertainment, tech, food, design, pop culture and politics. Inforum’s audience comprises the most interesting, inquisitive and connected young professionals. VIP access goes beyond the Q&As and book signings to include exclusive receptions, dinners, demonstrations, games and prizes for many events.

KQED serves the people of Northern California with a community-supported alternative to commercial media. KQED‘s television, radio, digital media and educational services provide citizens with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions; convene community dialogue; bring the arts to everyone; and engage audiences to share their stories.

Located at the iconic convergence of Union Square, SoMa and Financial Districts, Hotel Zetta is perfectly situated to experience the best of San Francisco’s fashion, arts, technology and music scene. The property combines neo-classic architecture while effortlessly fusing ease and sophistication with state-of-the-art amenities. Hotel Zetta is ideally located for connecting authentically with San Francisco’s leading-edge cultural and business communities.

 

Getting Employees Excited About Voting

iStock_000046179920_LargeRecently, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist called on tech firms to give their employees time off to vote this Election Day and some big brands like Spotify, Square and SurveyMonkey took notice. While making Election Day a holiday is a good way to show that a company values civic engagement, our CEO Matt Mahan told Inc. Magazine that employers can do more.

Some ideas he shared to develop a culture of corporate civic responsibility include:

  • Making it easy to register to vote by keeping voter registration forms at the office or enclosing them in onboarding materials for new employees
  • Inviting government officials to meet your employees — a local district representative, or someone who works in an area of government related to what your company does
  • Hosting events such as viewing parties for debates and election results
Matt also pointed out that fostering civic engagement among workers could even benefit a business’s bottom line.

At Brigade, we’ve made hosting a voter guide dinner a company tradition. The concept is simple: our employees, friends and family research candidates and ballot propositions and present the key reasons for/against each during a dinner-table conversation at our office. Everyone walks away with a much more robust knowledge of what’s on the ballot before Election Day.

We’ve also offered all-staff “lunch & learn” discussions with sitting politicians, candidates and other notables in the government and civic space. In the past few weeks alone, we’ve been joined by San Francisco Supervisors Scott Wiener and Jane Kim who are battling for a California Senate seat in November.

Additionally, Brigade encourages employees to volunteer before and during Election Day and our executives lead by example. One served as a polling place supervisor during the California primary and others have participated in phone-banking, canvassing and other get-out-the-vote efforts for local, state and national campaigns.

Does your company offer civic engagement opportunities for employees? Let us know what they are!

A Tale of Two Conventions

The Brigade team has been on the road for the past two weeks at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. Our goal was to raise awareness about the world’s first network for voters, and boy did Cleveland and Philadelphia deliver!

We had a great time talking to media, elected officials and delegates from around the country about our mission to leverage social and mobile technology reenergize public participation in our democracy.

Here are some highlights from our trip:

Our CEO Matt Mahan appeared on CNBC’s “Power Lunch”to talk about building Brigade and share his perspectives on the political climate in Silicon Valley. Click here to watch the segment.

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We collaborated with REVOLT TV, Sean “Diddy” Combs’s new millennial-focused TV and digital network on content from the conventions as well as a pair of panel discussions about the importance of young voters in this election cycle.

We participated in “American Experiments,” a showcase for civic tech at the Microsoft Innovation Center on the first day of the Democratic National Convention, which drew an impressive crowd in Philadelphia.

We talked to dozens of journalists who were interested in our team’s insights on how mobile and social technologies can transform how Americans participate in the political and electoral process.

And finally, we witnessed history (and some impressive balloon drops) as Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton became their parties’ respective nominees for President of the United States.

Now, with the general election season in full-swing, we can’t wait to announce more ways we’ll be engaging voters — online and offline, locally and nationally — ahead of November. Stay tuned…