6 Apps That Will Make You A Better Citizen

There’s an app for everything. No, seriously. EVERYTHING. Need to pay your bills? There’s an app for that. Need to workout? There’s an app for that. You want a new boyfriend? App for that too. Want your favorite fast food delivered to your doorstep? There are so many apps for that. Want to be more civically engaged? Well, you are in luck because there are a multitude of apps for that. Here’s six that are guaranteed to make you a better citizen.

1. ActiVote

This application is basically an interactive planner for voting. When you download ActiVote, you are able to lookup your voter registration, see upcoming elections in your district and view party affiliations for your region. One of the key features of the app is it allows you to privately state your opinions regarding various policy issues. Based on  your responses, it will then plot you on a matrix to see how your views align with politicians throughout the political spectrum. This app is great because it provides a safe space for voters to conduct research, voice their opinions, and keep up with elections and their representatives.

Download: Apple | Android

2. Roundup App

This is for donating, made easy. If you want to make reoccurring donations to a nonprofit, the Roundup App is a great tool to assist you in making consistent contributions without having to put much thought into it. Once you download the app, pick a nonprofit you’d like to support and attach your credit or debit card. For every transaction made, the app will ‘round’ up the total to the nearest dollar and donate the difference. At the end of the month, the app will tally the total change of your transactions and send a deposit directly to the nonprofit of your choosing. Think of it as finding spare change in your back pocket or in the crevices of your couch cushions, collecting in a jar and donating it once it’s full. Not that you need an excuse to treat yo’ self, but giving back is a pretty good one. And if you’re on a budget, there is an option to set a monthly cap.

Download: Apple | Android

3. Our Congress

Don’t let its simplicity fool you. The Our Congress app holds a wealth of information. Input your address and the app will populate your district number and the names and contact information of your representatives and senators, as well as  state and local officials. Additionally, you can research voting records, view all legislation activity in the House and Senate, favorite any bills you wish to keep tabs on, and even review the U.S. Constitution (you know, just in case you have some free time to kill). It may not be as interactive, but sometimes less is more.

Download: Apple | Unavailable for Android

4. Good On You

We can protest with our voice, but we can also protest with our dollars. How we spend our money makes a huge difference, but it can be tricky determining which brands truly align with our values. If you want to be more mindful with your clothing purchases, Good On You can help. The app uses a 5-point scale rating system  (1-We Avoid to 5-Great), which considers the impact the brand has on people, the planet, and animal welfare. It also allows you to rate how important each of these issues are to you and makes recommendations based on social causes you care about the most.  The fact that an app can help you be more socially conscious, sustainable, and stylish is very fashion forward.

Download: Apple | Android

5. PolitiTruth

We are up to our necks in information, and unfortunately this includes misinformation too. Therefore, we need to inspect every piece of news we read to make sure it’s factual. But between maintaining a social life, staying hydrated, and trying to keep our sanity in check during 2020 — it’s not always easy. PolitiTruth makes it fun and simple. Yeah, I said “fun.” Okay, hear me out. The app uses the same swipe functionality as most dating apps and presents a series of claims from PolitiFact. You swipe right if you think it’s true, and left if you think the claim is false; then the PolitiTruth app will confirm. This app isn’t super sophisticated and it does not replace the tedious, but necessary, act of fact checking; but it’s a gamified method to check yourself and a good way to test your knowledge.

Download: Apple | Android

6. Politicscope

Last, but certainly not least, is Politicscope. This app serves as a centralized location where you can access current news, congressional updates, current elections, review elected official voting records, participate in surveys, and even register to vote! As far as civic engagement apps  go, this is one of the most comprehensive options. A key feature involves the ability to track the status of a bill from inception to law, its journey through the House and Senate all the way to the President’s desk. Politicscope includes a digestible overview of each bill and its sponsors, and allows you to give the legislation a thumbs up or down. You can even bookmark certain bills that you want to follow. Overall, this is a great app to keep yourself educated on the happenings of Capitol Hill and to decrease the amount of leg work involved in legislative research.

Download: Apple | Android

Call To Action

  • Determine an area of civic engagement or activism you want to improve upon.
  • See if any of these apps or others can help you accomplish your civic goals.
  • Download an app.
  • Strive to be a better citizen!

-Jessica Couloute, Content Creator

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