I’m quoted in this National Journal article about citizens interacting with elected officials. The article uses as a case study the issue of chemtrails — the belief that visible trails behind airplanes are deliberate attempts to affect people and the environment.
A mobile app has been developed to make it easier for people to share their opinions with their Congressional representative and include pictures in the communication. It is designed specifically for use regarding chemtrails but in theory could have much broader uses.
The app, SkyderALERT, geolocates the picture and forwards it with a message to the Congressional representative of that area. On the one hand, if the picture taker is travelling and not a constituent, the value is limited. On the other hand, the elected official may regardless be interested in the photo and the subject, as the app is applied to other uses.
Applied to other concerns, an app like this could be what motivates an individual who has a concern to share that concern with the proper elected officials. Versions of an app like this could include different government levels and relevant agencies based on keywords. An accompanying program or website could be developed to aggregate the messages, display on maps, and compare the photographs.
This particular version is not free; ideally, an app to encourage participation in government would not have a cost barrier. It is a simple way for an individual who may not know who his or her elected officials are to open the door to government and send a message.