Jan 23, 2017

Brigade, Voter join forces to prioritize local elections

Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

As a new U.S. president begins his term, two start-ups focused on civic engagement are joining forces. Brigade, which lets voters connect with others, has hired Voter co-founder and CEO Hunter Scarborough, whose app matches voters to candidates with similar political stances.

The big decision: Though Voter raised a small seed round in 2016, Scarborough eventually had to either raise more funds or look to sell his company. In the end, he gravitated more toward joining a bigger and established company, he says. Brigade was at the top of his list. (Brigade is backed by early Facebook investor Sean Parker, Silicon Valley investor Ron Conway and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff.)

The silver lining: Though a significant portion of the country did not vote for our new president, "the silver lining of that election is that everyone got a lot more engaged," he told Axios.

Local focus: While people tend to focus their attention on national elections, "in a lot of cases, local elections impact their lives a lot more than national elections," says Scarborough. Getting U.S. voters to become more aware of -- and participating in -- their local elections will be critical now more than ever.

Accountability: Scarborough believes Brigade's tool that polls verified voters on various issues can help hold elected officials accountable. Scarborough explains:

  • Telling an elected representative that 70% of people want greater attention on environmental issues won't get much action.
  • But instead, telling them that 70% of verified and consistent voters in their district care about the environment—now that's much more likely to send a message.

The biggest challenge: Despite the wakeup call this last presidential election delivered to a lot of Americans, convincing people that their votes matter is still the biggest challenge for companies like Brigade. "As far as having an impact as an individual, it's to consistently vote," he says of the way people can influence policies.

Go deeper

Virus vices take a toll on Americans

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans are doubling down on their worst habits to cope with the mental and emotional stress of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The pandemic will have a long-lasting impact on health of the American people, in part due to the habits they will pick up during the weeks and months they are forced to stay home.

Go deeperArrow11 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 a.m. ET: 1,203,923 — Total deaths: 64,795 — Total recoveries: 247,273Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 a.m. ET: 312,237 — Total deaths: 8,502 — Total recoveries: 14,997Map.
  3. Public health latest: CDC launches national trackers and recommends face coverings in public. Federal government will cover costs of COVID-19 treatment for uninsured. The virus is hitting poor, minority communities harder and upending childbirth.
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. "We're having the convention at the end of August."
  5. Business updates: Restaurants step up for health care workers. Employees are pressuring companies to provide protections during coronavirus.
  6. Oil latest: Monday meeting among oil-producing countries to discuss supply curbs is reportedly being delayed amid tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
  7. Education update: Many college-age students won't get coronavirus relief checks.
  8. 1 🏀 thing: The WNBA postpones start of training camps and season.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

World coronavirus updates: Confirmed cases top 1.2 million

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The number of novel coronavirus cases surpassed 1.2 million worldwide Saturday night, as Spain overtook Italy as the country with the most infections outside the U.S.

The big picture: About half the planet's population is now on lockdown and the global death toll was nearing 64,800, by Sunday morning, per Johns Hopkins data.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health