This Brilliant Nonprofit Might Have the Answer to Solve America’s Political Division


This post is by Rohit Bhargava from Influential Marketing


The widely publicized death of local news has created a knowledge and truth void when it comes to very important public questions. Like how are your tax dollars being spent? And what decisions are being made on a local level that affect your life and your community? Unless you happen to be a citizen with a deep commitment to doing your civic duty, what you know about politics is probably shaped by the circus of national news media. This is bad for many reasons, but the biggest is that a lack of knowledge about the actual value of government makes anyone more easily manipulated to belief false declarations from politicians. 


For the past six years, a nonprofit called Documenters.org has pursued a bold agenda to educate and inform citizens by finding and paying volunteers to attend under-reported public meetings and publish recaps of what happened. To date, they have paid more than $600k to citizen journalists who often end up as the sole voice in public meetings to hold decision makers accountable and reveal what really happens in local politics.

Imagine if every high school or college in America required students to participant in Documenters and attend a public meeting. Or if an element of skills training for the unemployed included encouragement to report on public meetings (and be paid for it). There are so many ways this platform could have a lasting impact on our shared culture. If more people knew it existed.