The next Congress and White House will be controlled by people who were voted into power by a minority of American voters. If the majority of America wants to exert its influence during this time, a key step will be constant contact with members of Congress. The majority, if it wishes to be heard, must make itself heard – by calling, writing, and showing up at Congressional offices nonstop, making clear what most Americans think about the major (and minor) issues of the day.

An Internet startup called Countable is attempting to make that process easier. Countable’s service launched in 2014 – it provides, simple, plain-language explanations of the bills your Members of Congress (MoCs) are currently debating, and allows you to instantly send them emails telling them how you think they should vote. Countable is available for iOS and Android, in addition to its online version.

Legislative language is often labyrinthine and nearly impossible to understand. As a lawyer and former legislative staffer who has written some of that language, I can tell you that most people either miss or misinterpret key points of legislation when (and if) they bother to read it, so a service that summarizes bills in a quick and simple way is a real asset to the average citizen.

Please note: While reading summarized legislation and quick-emailing your Members of Congress is a great step, far better than doing nothing, it is our opinion that phone calls, personalized emails or letters, and (best of all) showing up at your MoC’s district offices are the most effective way to get their attention. As the Indivisible guide points out, MoCs are extremely concerned about reelection, which makes them sensitive to direct contact from their constituents, but they can be dismissive of pre-written form emails.

Check out Countable, download the Indivisible guide, contact your Senators and Representatives often, and share this article to anyone you know who’s looking for a way to make a difference. Remember, elected officials work for you.

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