Super (Duper) Tuesday

Super Tuesday was the biggest day of voting in the United States until November’s general election and we invited Bay Area political junkies, including some local members of our Brigade community, to watch the returns come with us.

supertueswatchpartyThe San Francisco Business Times aptly described our lively watch party in an article published the next day. Here’s an excerpt:

Apathy, ignorance and cynicism are stereotypical of the American electorate, which votes at some of the lowest rates in the developed world. But those stereotypes are nowhere to be found at the offices of Brigade, the San Francisco-based startup aiming to simplify civic life through technology.

At a Super Tuesday party hosted at Brigade’s SOMA offices, a packed roomful of mostly millennial-aged partygoers mingled, snacked and watched a large-screen display of Donald Trump’s victory speech following his sweep of several states.

Against a backdrop of laughter, jeers and animated debate around the presumptive Republican nominee – attendees included Capitol Hill transplants, political operatives and techies from the likes of Uber, Airbnb and Twitter – Brigade founders James Windon and Matt Mahan are confident that the engagement in the room will prove infectious.

If you’re a San Francisco Business Times subscriber, you can read the full story here.

Business Insider: 25 Hottest SF Startups

Business Insider recently polled technology industry insiders, venture capitalists and startup founders to arrive at their “25 Hottest San Francisco Startups to Watch in 2016” list and we’re honored to have made the cut. Brigade’s in good company alongside AltSchool, Medium, Postmates, Product Hunt, Slack and Shyp to name a few.

Here’s what BI had to say about us:

Brigade2“It’s an election year, and Brigade is facing its make-or-break moment. In a bold attempt to try to engage a millennial class in politics, Brigade turns political discussions into an app. Instead of un-friending your high-school classmates on Facebook because of their political viewpoints, Brigade tries to identify friends or neighbors that you’re most similar to so you can team up to sign petitions or champion causes you are passionate about.

It’s earned the nickname ‘a Tinder for politics.’ But Brigade wants to do more than have its users hit agree or disagree on important issues. The company used interactive voting guides to draw millennials into local politics. Its users’ opinions on a local San Francisco election accurately reflected — with one exception — how the voter base ended up voting in the polls.”

Check out the entire “25 Hottest San Francisco Startups to Watch in 2016” here.

New Features for iOS & Android Users

Exciting news! You can now incorporate web content (like articles, images and videos) when leaving reasons to support your opinions on Brigade for iOS and Android. Just copy and paste a link and we’ll take care of the rest. We’ve also added the ability for users to create or join a discussion on a given topic. Click “comment” underneath a reason to get the conversation started!

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Download the latest version of Brigade from the App Store or Google Play and give our new features a spin. We’re eager to get your feedback!

 

Did You Catch Us On Fox News?

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Brigade Co-Founder and President James Windon caught up with Fox News Channel’s Douglas Kennedy to talk about how we’re helping people speak out about issues that matter and connect with like-minded individuals ahead of the 2016 election. “Brigade makes it easy, fun and social to be political online,” Windon told Kennedy.

Millennials, in particular, can stand to benefit from Brigade. Kennedy noted that 50% of American young people don’t affiliate with the Democratic or Republican Party and less than 20% feel politically engaged. “This generation really wants to be able to talk about the issues, connect directly with each other and perhaps think about things differently,” said Stephan Nicoleau, a Brigade user interviewed for the story.

Watch the Fox News “Check It Out” segment on Brigade here.

 

Brigade Featured in Entrepreneur Magazine

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We’re thrilled to be featured in the the February 2016 issue of Entrepreneur magazine, which is on newsstands nationwide now. Here’s an excerpt of the article about our mission, vision and team:

“Most Americans agree that government is broken. But only a few brave entrepreneurs have tried to fix it — and their efforts rarely go well. Brigade’s experienced leaders think they can do better. And this election year, they’ll become an object lesson in taking on the greatest business challenges.”
Read the online version here and download the tablet edition here.

New Year, New Ways to Make Your Voice Heard

Brigade’s kicking off 2016 by making it easier to weigh in on daily news, discover interesting topics, declare what issues are most important to you and connect with friends and neighbors who share your passions.

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Here’s what’s new in our iOS and Android apps:

  • Get Your News Fix: Optimized home feed with a fun and easy way to weigh in on today’s headlines. Come back each day for five more!
  • Explore: A new way to discover featured issues, people you might want to support and trending petitions you may want to sign.
  • Enhanced Civic Profile: Updated profile to showcase the issues you care most about, alongside positions you’ve taken, reasons you’ve written and campaigns you support.

Learning As We Grow

These exciting updates, and others we’ll release in the coming months, benefited from insights we collected from our growing community of users. Ongoing efforts to better understand what people love about Brigade — and what they’d like us to improve — are helping inform our strategy in 2016, an important year for politics and civic engagement.

To that end, we recently got feedback on a range of issues from more than 1,000 people on Brigade. Here are a few highlights:

  • 80% of Brigade users polled said they planned to vote in the 2016 general election. For context, nationwide turnout in November 2012 – the last presidential election – was 53.7%.
  • 74% of Brigade users polled said they planned to vote in their state primaries. Primary voter turnout in 2012 slumped to a record low of 17.3% in the 41 states that held statewide races in both parties.
  • When asked what types of politics they found most compelling, more than 80% of our respondents said they were interested in national politics and around half said they were interested in local, state or international issues.
  • More than 60% said they were “extremely” or “very” interested in informing local and state officials about topics they care about.

Get the latest update in the App Store and Google Play Store and let us know what you think about Brigade!

 

Ceiling-Breakers in Politics & Tech Compare Notes

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* POSTPONED: NEW DATE FEB. 24*

Please join Brigade and IGNITE National for a special event on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 6 p.m. PT: “Ceiling-Breakers in Politics & Tech Compare Notes.” Women leaders in politics and technology will engage in a thoughtful and spirited conversation about the two fields and assess how we as a nation can do better in 2016 and beyond.

Featured Speakers:

This program is produced by Brigade, a tech start-up working to tackle the problem of declining citizen power and engagement in our democracy, and IGNITE, a national non-profit building a movement to ignite political ambition among young women and create gender parity in political leadership.

For more details and to RSVP, click here.