WELCOME TO VOTERHEADS corporate blog

We want to make democracy more user-friendly – at every level – but in particular, at the local level where not only educated voting (Do you really know who to vote for at the local level when you close that curtain?), but finding and commenting on what is happening at local council meetings, school board meetings, etc. has been very difficult. With today’s technology, being an empowered citizen is overdue and Voterheads is committed to doing something about it. Read More

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Voterheads is forward-thinking, user-friendly, government-focused goodness, made magically easy.

If you haven't already, go see it for yourself.  Once you see how well-organized government can be, you'll wonder why we didn't do this earlier.

21

Feb 2017

Startup Grind selects Voterheads for Top 100

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Columbia, S.C. – February 22, 2017 –Voterheads was inducted into the 2017 Class of Startup Exhibitioners by Startup Grind at their annual event held this month in California.

“Of the 6,000 plus startups that were considered, 100 were selected representing the Startup Grind community across 80 countries. These startups have great teams, traction, technology, and massive markets,” says Derek Anderson, founder and CEO of Startup Grind.

“Voterheads’ mission is to offer a free service that makes democracy more user-friendly at a local level across the United States. We are very proud and excited to have been chosen from 6,000 candidates,” said Karl McCollester, CEO of Voterheads.

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20

Dec 2016

Women’s Issues – A look at some 2016 examples

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The 2016 presidential election marked a significant historical achievement for women’s rights in the United States: a major political party selected a woman to be its candidate for the presidency.  Due in part to Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, women’s issues became an important part of the national political discussion, inspiring conversations from the dinner table to all levels of government.  In order to see how local governments across the country recently tackled similar issues, we perused the Voterheads database for some interesting stories.  Here are three from the past couple of months!

Local governments often seek ways to improve the local economy by providing new opportunities to individuals or businesses that are underrepresented.  The Eugene, Oregon City Council held a meeting in November regarding a special program to increase the number of women and minority-owned businesses in the area.   The city’s Equity in Contracting Program first implemented in June, uses a variety of methods to encourage contracts between women-owned businesses and the city.  The city government currently works and plans to identify and remove barriers to contract opportunities, engage with contracting-related project managers and city staff, participate in targeted outreach to the desired businesses, and align with other state and local governments which have already carried out similar efforts.  With continued efforts, the city hopes the program will help to realize part of the city’s vision to: “Encourage a strong, sustainable and vibrant economy, fully utilizing our educational and cultural assets, so that every person has an opportunity to achieve financial security.”

City governments can also adopt national and international initiatives for the benefit of minority groups, including women.  The city of Pittsburgh, PA held meetings and hearings in November to discuss the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), an international rights treaty first passed by the United Nations in 1979.  While President Carter signed the document for the United States at the time, the Senate never actually ratified the treaty.  As a consequence, local governments have since taken it upon themselves to take action by adopting the same goals and vision put forth by CEDAW, including Pittsburgh.  The city council recently considered an addition to the CEDAW for Cities Initiative, which would allow Pittsburgh to create a Gender Equity Commission to research and advise the city on discrimination and gender issues.  They plan to focus especially on problems occurring in four key areas: economic development, violence against women and girls, education, and the delivery of services.  The City Council approved the Gender Equity Commission in a meeting on December 6th by a unanimous vote of 9-0.

Another way in which local governments can have an impact upon women’s issues is how they decide to spend the money they receive from different taxes.  By investing these funds into programs, cities and counties show their commitment to the advancement of different demographic groups.  For example, the Wichita City Council in Kansas considered the allocation of funds from its Liquor Tax Coalition during a recent meeting.   Part of the City Manager’s recommendations to the council included a Girls Empowerment Program run by the Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas.  The program targets young women and girls at the middle and high school grade level who are particularly at risk for alcohol and drug problems, academic failure, and participation in delinquent activity.  The program applies the Girl Circle approach which seeks to counter negative social and relational forces that may hamper positive development.  The Council voted 7-0 to approve the recommended funds, thus allowing the Girl Empowerment Program to continue in Wichita.

City and county governments often face questions surrounding women’s issues in their districts.  Efforts like the stories above show just three of the ways they confront these matters.  If you ever wonder what your local government is doing in terms of gender discrimination or empowerment, keep an eye on your Voterheads account for the next public meeting in your area!

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24

Nov 2016

Immigration at the Local Level – A look at some 2016 examples

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Do you think of immigration only as a national and international issue? Unless you live along one of the United States’ borders, perhaps you think that immigration is not that important for your state, town, or city. This isn’t surprising. Immigration almost always comes up during presidential and congressional elections, like it did during the 2016 election. Its no wonder if you think of immigration only in those terms.

From concerns regarding the protection of the United States’ borders to the impact of immigration on the availability of jobs, its easy to see why the issue is so crucial at the highest levels of government. Yet  is a local issue too! From the impact of new immigrant groups upon an area to the encouragement of diversity in dense populations, city and county governments continually address immigration in their day to day work. Keep reading to see how some of the local governments from the Voterheads database tackled issues related to immigration last month.

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25

Oct 2016

We’ve got your local ballot research tips right here ;)

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Since our founding, Voterheads has been busy trying to make it easier for the average citizen to understand and participate in local government issues.  That includes being able to learn more about the candidates at election time.  And that day has come!  

You may have heard that we recently partnered with our friends at Ballotpedia to share our local government monitoring service with their users.  And so we’d like to do the same and share with our users the amazing progress Ballotpedia has made towards getting you the information you need to make an informed voting decision this election.

05

Oct 2016

Improving Local Government is a Team Sport

Posted by / in Announcements, Ballot Research, Development /

At Voterheads, we’re passionate about making local government easier to access and participate.  The same is true for our friends at Ballotpedia.  Thanks to some initial outreach by our board member Mike Switzer, we originally started talking with Ballotpedia this summer.  While we started the discussion around what we could do around the Midlands ballot project we did last election cycle, we quickly came to the conclusion that our scopes overlapped best at the municipal information level.

We had a great time working with Matt, Daniel, and the local desk team.  The result of that collaboration is improved transparency for the top municipalities in the nation.  Now, when you go to a City page at Ballotpedia:

You can now find the current and recent agendas, supplied by yours truly!

We’re excited to be working with Ballotpedia in a way that makes it easier for all of us to track our local governments.  At Voterheads, you can access these top municipalities and 1400 more cities and counties.

If you’re interested in partnering with us, shoot me an e-mail: karl@voterheads.com

-Karl

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