How The Mobile App Politicking Aims To Change How Millennials Engage In Politics
"Voting needs to be sexy for us," Politicking app creator Wen-kuni Ceant said.
Wen-kuni Ceant had a wakeup call when she went to cast her vote for president in 2016. As she looked at the local candidates and amendments on the ballot in her home state of Florida, she realized she didn’t have the information or research needed to make an informed decision. She felt as if she wasn’t prepared to fulfill her civic duty, and she wondered about the barriers that prevent young people from participating in local elections. That’s when she vowed to do something about it.
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Ceant enlisted the help of her friend and former Howard University classmate, Jordan Wilson. Wilson had been active in youth politics for some time, and her mother is Karen Freeman-Wilson, the former mayor of Gary, Indiana. Together, they figured out that millennials needed more information and news about local issues in order to become engaged and informed voters. That’s when they developed Politicking, an app designed to provide users information on local and national elections.
Empower your vote by downloading the #1 civic information platform, Politicking, right now. Available in iOS & Google Play pic.twitter.com/Qm0XolDsHh— Politicking (@politickingapp) October 22, 2019
“People don’t care about local politics because of lack of information or voter apathy. We decided, ‘If there’s not something already addressing it, let’s create it,’” Ceant told Blavity.
Politicking allows users to create a virtual voter ID, where they can learn the districts and locations where they are eligible to vote based on their address. It also creates a personalized user dashboard that includes referendums, issues, candidates and their platforms at the local level. However, Politicking isn’t solely focused on local politics. Its 411 section includes information about "need to know” issues that are important to voters around the country, including education, voting, national security, criminal justice, economy, environment, immigration and health care.
“We surveyed millennials to find out their eight topics of interest and that’s how we came up with the 411 News,” Ceant said.
Of course, Politicking also has plenty of information for users looking to learn more about the candidates running for president in 2020. In addition to candidate profiles, the app’s Instagram account includes facts about the week in politics, videos and more. Last month, it featured an exclusive conversation with Mayor Pete Buttigieg about making change in inner city communities.
Check out our IGTV Politicking exclusive with Mayor Pete! Let’s take a deep dive into a discussion with @PeteButtigieg and constituents in inner city baltimore to figure out how Mayor Pete’s platform strives to make a change in inner city communities. Leave your thoughts below!— Politicking (@politickingapp) December 14, 2019
Currently, Politicking’s founders are crowdfunding to raise $200,000 to launch the app in five major metro areas: Baltimore, Boston, Dallas, Oakland and Philadelphia, which they hope to do in advance of Election Day in November. And they will be hosting a presidential debate pre-party on February 25 in Philadelphia.
Ceant believes that with the right information and technology, millennials can become a powerful voting bloc, which is why the goal of the Politicking app is to "reinvent how millennials do politics.”
“Voting just needs to be cool and sexy for us,” Ceant said.