Category Archives: Policypitch.com updates

Four More States Added Courtesy of the Sunlight Foundation

Over the summer we added four more states that you can now access legislative information from: New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin.  Our data comes from the Open States API, a project of the Sunlight Foundation.   They are supporting our efforts to gather and make it easier to share state-level legislative data.  Enjoy!

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NEW DESIGN AND FEATURES

Hello everyone, welcome to the new version of PolicyPitch.  Our team has been hard at work over the past several months to update the design and add lots of new features.  We asked our users what you wanted and we hope the new site will deliver that.  Having said that, I’d like to update you with our new features.

The new site is more focused on legislation transparency than before by extracting legislation information from Arizona, California, and Kentucky so that all of the political actions are visible. The main holdover from the previous version is the ability to pitch your own policy in any community you want.  You can vote for or against any policy on its detail page by clicking on the buttons in the top right corner.  You can get email notifications on any update by tracking policies, politicians, categories, and users.  A full tutorial of the website can be seen on the How It Works page

We’re really excited about the new version.  We hope it makes it easier to navigate and encourages people to pitch their own policies, vote, and make comments.  Let’s start bringing the power to the people in your community!

T. Smith

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Filed under Policypitch.com updates, Politics

Welcome 2010: iPhone app Election Hub & new site

Welcome, 2010!  It’s been a while since the last post, and the PolicyPitch team has been busy working on several new initiatives!

First, we want to announce the release of our first iPhone application: Election Hub! Election Hub includes up-to-the-minute stats, facts, news and notes on each New Orleans 2010 Mayoral and City Council candidate. Features include candidate bios and platform stances, incoming news articles, campaign finance reports, and twitter feeds.  Election Hub also features an interactive community section where users can comment and sound-off on the candidates, campaign spending, platform stances, and news.  Additionally, Election Hub polls the app’s users once a week on who they would vote for in the Mayoral race.  DOWNLOAD the app for FREE.

Election Hub was launched as a joint venture between PolicyPitch and Susco Solutions.  Susco Solutions is one of the premier mobile development and software companies in the South.  Susco’s expertise and responsiveness was fantastic at all levels.  Check out Susco’s take on Election Hub’s development.  More information on Election Hub here.

Second, the re-design of the PolicyPitch site has been underway for months and is FINALLY nearing completion.  The new site will feature a streamlined look and simplified navigation; easier tools to pitch your policies, the ability to contact local elected officials, and all of the legislative bills from Arizona, California, and Kentucky (with Louisiana coming very soon)!  Shortly thereafter, we will have all of the bills filed by legislators in all 50 states!

Third, check out the “If I Were Mayor” platform developed by HumidBeings.com in partnership with PolicyPitch and Engage Nola.  IIWM allows citizens of New Orleans to post policy ideas for the Mayoral candidates and vote on those ideas!  Check it out.

Overall, this has been a fantastic few months and a great start to 2010!

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June-July Updates

Things are moving along at PolicyPitch.com!

Among the biggest news, we were selected and honored by New Orleans City Business for The 2009 New Orleans Innovator of the Year!  We were selected as a top honoree from hundreds of submissions.   The final selection will be in late September.  We have our fingers crossed!

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Filed under Policypitch.com updates, Social Innovation

Opening Pitch

As our April recap demonstrated, PolicyPitch has gained a great deal of momentum lately. Over the course of the next few months, we hope to capitalize on this by rolling out the new and improved PolicyPitch now with 30% more policy and less pitchy aftertaste!

Democracy is only as good as its citizenry and PolicyPitch is likewise only as good as its users. Therefore, we are currently working deep in an underground bunker implementing improvements to the site that will make it more functional and user friendly than ever before. The new version will feature advanced video camera functionality, including double tap auto-focus and low light level macro settings… oh wait sorry that’s the new iPhone 3GS… well, at least you don’t need AT&T to use PolicyPitch! I guess ya’ll just have to check back often to see our progress.

Oh and one last thing. I’d like to thank the PolicyPitch team for welcoming me on board. We are looking forward to bringing civic engagement to an entirely unprecedented level and I am just proud to be a part of that process.

~ Damien LaManna

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April recap: gaining momentum

April was an exciting month for the Policypitch team!  Our first legislative bill was pitched by a Louisiana state legislator, we made it to the finals of the Tulane Business Plan Competition, made a splash in the press, and continued development of our new platform!

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Policypitch gets our first elected official to “pitch” his bill

State Representative Walker Hines, D-New Orleans, became the first elected official to post a proposed piece of legislation on Policypitch for public comment and feedback.  With Louisiana facing a large budget deficit, his bill to eliminate the Louisiana state income tax for residents age 18-29 attending college or with college degrees was sure to face an uphill battle in the 2009 legislative session.  So, Mr. Hines pitched the idea to his constituents on Policypitch.com – writing an open letter to residents, seeking input and feedback, and asking for their support.  Within a few weeks, the bill easily became the most popular–and polarizing–issue pitched on the website.

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