Here’s a bit of a coup for our friends at POPVOX.com, who were also featured in that recent “50 Hottest” list in BusinessInsider: when advocates use the POPVOX site to post documents supporting or opposing legislation, they now go straight to the House Democratic intranet, where they’re immediately available to staff. Useful! These behind-the-scenes documents now often find themselves buried in an inbox or on someone’s desk, and this new channel will help keep them in front of exactly the eyes they need to reach. Here’s the text of an email from the Democratic Whip’s office with the details:
Subject: Ensure Your Organization’s Legislative Positions are Visible to House Democrats
Dear Congressional Advocacy Organizations,
We know you all spend significant time and effort producing letters of support or opposition for bills before Congress. Unfortunately, those letters often live an all-too-short life fulfilling their purpose—influencing Congressional decision makers—before being buried in overloaded Congressional inboxes. The Democratic Whip’s Office is taking action to improve matters and make your letters more prominent and easy to find for House Democratic staffers.
Democratic Whip Hoyer’s office manages DemCom, the official intranet for House Democratic staff, which has been in use for four years and is used regularly by over 2,000 House Democratic staffers. DemCom hosts all internal documents within the Democratic Caucus including “Dear Colleague” Member letters, Leadership fact sheets and talking points, sample press releases and constituent letters, all organized by bill. Beginning last summer, DemCom also automatically imports all letters of support/opposition from outside organizations that have been posted on the public website POPVOX.com and prominently displays those letters alongside the internal/official documents related to that bill. As a result, over 5,000 letters from outside organization letters are now on DemCom, all organized by bill, and more are added each day.
We want you all to be aware of this resource. You all can post your own letters directly to POPVOX.com or simply email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. And you can be sure that any letter posted on POPVOX.com is also automatically and prominently displayed to all House Democratic staff….
—The Democratic Whip Outreach Team
This sounds like a good development for both advocacy groups and Congressional staff, since it’ll help both do their jobs more effectively and efficiently — without the free flow of relevant information, Congress can’t make good decisions. Whether it makes good decisions once it HAS the information is a judgment I leave to our loyal readers.
BTW, for more on POPVOX, check out the initial Epolitics.com review of the site.