It all starts with how you sign up. All members create their Round Table account using Real ID authentication. With this, we pre-populate your profile with information about your district including the details and voting records of the elected officials that serve you. Your profile page can become your ‘political hub’ where you subscribe to stories through a local, state, and national lens. You can even learn more about the measures that will be on forthcoming ballots and request reminders for when and where those elections will take place. We believe that Democracy only works when an informed electorate participates in the process. So we aim to make it easy to track the issues that matter the most to you and make it easy to participate.
You’ll also gain access to a personalized set of forums within the Round Table that only members from your state and district will be able to post in. This group of passionate voters becomes a valuable resource for any elected official - a place where they can discuss policy directly with an engaged subset of their electorate and provide broader context on their decision-making. These discussions embody the spirit of a democratic republic, because the elected know the conversation is limited to just the people who voted them into office… or could vote them out.
If you hear leadership from your representative, then you know that you are living in a functioning Democracy. And if you don't hear leadership - either due to their absence or presence - then you can begin the conversation to ignite the change you wish to see.
And if in that conversation, you discover a voice that is flagged to run as a Challenger, then the Round Table gives you the opportunity to explore their profile. You can see where you both stand on other issues, quickly identify where you agree and disagree, and then have the venue to ask them why. And if you like their response, you can choose to follow or support their campaign.
Creating a government for the people; as determined by the people.
Political views are often discussed as if they fell somewhere on a spectrum. Even in the way ‘Conservatives’ and ‘Liberals’ are truncated down to ‘Right’ and ‘Left’, we focus on an either/or paradigm that speaks more to a collective identity than it does a solution for a specific problem. This can create a tribal approach to issues, where voters support their ‘team’ rather than being encouraged to explore issues with depth as they encounter them. But what if the paradigm shifted from being represented by a spectrum, and instead resembled a neural network where each stance further identified you? What if a strong stance on a single issue didn’t determine your position on every remaining issue, but instead you were encouraged to approach unrelated issues on a case-by-case basis? What if you were then able to find like-minded people who largely saw the world the way you did - who were in the same general clump within the neural network - and discovered amongst them a pool of candidates that closely aligned with your unique beliefs?
When you first create a Round Table account - and periodically after that as new issues arise - you will be asked a series of questions. Some topics will be familiar to you - like your opinions on Climate Change, Gun Control, and Abortion. Others will be to better understand what you value like, “If you could only choose one, would you rather your children be well-mannered or creative?” These answers will help us identify where to place you within the neural network; the more questions you answer, the more accurately you should be placed. As time goes on and you discover more information about a topic or as your world view evolves, you are encouraged to go back and change your response to any previously answered questions.
With these answers, we will be able to connect you with like-minded people - using technology similar to online-dating sites - to find you a set of ‘matches’ based on your shared responses. Connecting you to a group of people living in your area who largely see the world the way that you do.
From this pool of people, we hope to empower you to find candidates that embody your values. We believe that elected offiials should reflect the unique views and goals of those who put them into office. That the needs and viewpoints in disparate regions will be uniquely different, and that the voices of your elected officials should reflect that diversity. That they should always reflect you.
We encourage our members to take a wide range of stances on a wide range of issues. We believe that when solutions to unrelated problems are approached independently, we unlock the ability break through partisan gridlock. We can build upon what unites us - instead of fixating on what divides us.
Every member is encouraged to discover their own personal 'platform' where they can endorse solutions independent of the stances of either political party. With this approach, we disconnect the leverage that partisan wedge issues have over our democracy.
When it is your platform that you are endorsing, you are empowered to change it as often as you like. But when it's your tribe's platform that you are defending... your position changes far less frequently. Changing your mind means that you're betraying your tribe.
While our platforms are as unique as each member's experiences, all members agree to a shared set of values:
Not all of our Labs will work. Some might have to be reworked or removed. Occasionally, we'll try out a new Lab, iterate on it with the community, and then replace it with something else. Because the goal isn't to find the perfect Lab. The goal is to always be looking for a better one. We believe this approach should govern the Round Table as much as our forefathers believed it should govern our nation.
We need less politics in crafting our policy. We need to work together on the issues that unite us instead of focusing on what divides us. And whether you live in a red or blue state, if any of this resonates: We need your help. We need you to join the discussion.