PPF Blog

Keep AskThem Online for the 2016 Elections

2016 is an election year, so it’s AskThem time.

AskThem works as a uniquely open Q&A platform for all the Presidential campaigns, every Congressional race, and more contests in your state.

Make a tax-exempt donation today to support our (free & open-source) work on public accountability.

AskThem_how_works_circlesWhy help support our work? Your gift goes directly to keeping AskThem up and running in 2016.

Help us deliver questions to all the Presidential candidates for a public response  – all the GOP candidates and Dems – for example:

  • Gov. Chris Christie about “Bridge-gate” in New Jersey
  • Secretary Hillary Clinton about military intervention in Syria
  • Sen. Marco Rubio about U.S. immigration reform
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders about foreign policy worldview
  • … every Prez candidate, and everyone running to represent you.

We’re a tiny non-profit project, and your gift will keep us online during this crazy election year.

AskThem_Rubio_NSA_qCharitable foundations and philanthropists – please get in touch to discuss how we can foster greater public dialogue in every Congressional district, all 50 states, and the top 100 U.S. cities. Just email me: david@ppolitics.org.

AskThem hasn’t received any charitable funding support since a Knight Foundation prototype grant of $35,000 in 2014. But we’re still online, still publishing new users’ questions, still delivering popular questions for a popular response, and still running grassroots campaigns – for example, for participatory budgeting in cities, to civic tech speakers at conferences, and elected officials nationwide at federal, state, and city levels of government (!).

AskThem is different from commercial petition sites and social media services. Because of our non-profit work on open public data, anyone can build even more powerful civic engagement tools.

We surface popular sentiment as libre information on the open web, for more open candidate debates and priority-setting; big companies don’t make their content truly open, or help other civic apps innovate.

AskThem has free & open-source widgets, to enable visitors to any website to ask questions to public figures. They need technical support time and volunteer design help – please get in touch if you can help arrange

  • a charitable grant to our 501c3 non-profit organization,
  • a partnership to promote your issue-based campaign to our members,
  • or a consulting contract for open-source web development.

I hope you’ll help our public-benefit work continue – it’s going to get real real interesting.

We believe AskThem should exist for continual public conversation with people in power. We’re the only version of the White House’s popular “We The People” petition platform – for every elected official, candidate, and more public figures.

Let’s ask more powerful questions in 2016,


Our 501(c)3 non-profit, the Participatory Politics Foundation, uses Action Network to accept your tax-exempt donations. Questions, feedback? Email me, I’m easy to reach and eager to talk about how AskThem works uniquely as open infrastructure for engagement.

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