The Democratic National Committee is trying to help Democrats regain the pole position as the tech-savviest political party in the U.S.
After getting Trumped in the 2016 election (pwned on security, data analysis and at the polls), the DNC is launching I Will Run, a marketplace for software, services and training to upgrade the campaigns of Democratic candidates.
Announced today by Sally Marx, the tech program manager for the DNC, the new marketplace will have a host of tech tools that campaigns can use to get off the ground, manage their progress and ensure easy outreach to voters.
A profusion of political services have sprung up in the months since Donald Trump took the presidency. Energized technology developers (on the whole a pretty left-leaning bunch) tuned in to politics, turned on new services and (in some cases) dropped out of their careers at high-profile shops like Google, Facebook and other Bay Are behemoths to join the political circus — or at least build tools for it.
“[We’ve] heard repeatedly from candidates and campaign staff that they are unsure what tools are out there, and simultaneously feel as if they are being fed too much information by vendors,” says Marx. “On the other hand, many of these innovators are not always reaching campaigns effectively – some state parties and campaigns, therefore, are in the dark about some of the innovative new technology that they should know about. And, finally, we’ve been in touch with funders and supporters who want to boost the progressive tech ecosystem, but aren’t clear on where those opportunities are.”
The marketplace, which Marx writes is explicitly for Democratic campaigns, is a curated compilation of tools used by campaigns and tools tested by DNC-funded case studies.
One of the companies already on the platform is the secure messaging service, Wickr, which has been working with campaigns from both parties to secure their communications. Wickr’s one of around 56 companies and nonprofits that are listed on the site in one of six categories: digital (which is crazy general), finance, research, security, training organizations and voter outreach.
The DNC tech team will also use the site to coordinate training, volunteers and pricing for Democratic campaigns. They’re piloting the program in states like Nevada, Arizona, Washington, Texas, Florida, Massachusetts and Iowa.
For campaigns interested in seeing what wares I Will Run has on offer, the DNC tech team is taking its show on the road with a whistle-stop tour at DNC events so state parties and campaigns can demo the tech.