TOGETHER WE ARE BUILDING A VERY POWERFUL SOCIAL PLATFORM FOR CHANGE -CIV.WORKS. We believe that our society is too often divided into political camps, polarized, paralyzed and conquered. We are subjected to waves of negative political ads, stories of corruption, and eventually we tune them out and become disenfranchised. We see government—not as a group of people that represent us—but as people separate from us. We might feel the wealthiest Americans are not taxed fairly. We might feel overburdened with taxes, debt and regulation. We claim the other side lives in a bubble. The other side claims we live in a bubble. This one-sided divide, however, isn’t always present. At times of great tragedy, for instance, we see the compassion and generosity of people who open their hearts to those suffering the consequences of an earthquake, flooding, or fire—regardless of party lines. During such times we see people around the world coming together as one, all sharing the same sky. It’s not just in moments of tragedy when these divides are bridged. Looking inside a classroom and seeing children of different races, genders, and belief systems learning together shows how unified our country can be. We can observe two different families living under vastly different circumstances, yet yearning for the same things. Ultimately, we all want many of the same outcomes: Safe, good tasting drinking water. Smog-free air to breathe under a blue sky. Opportunity for our children to receive an education, and learn a trade or a profession that leads them to live better lives and have more opportunities than past generations. This is some of the thinking behind civ.works. The idea that there are more things that unite us than divide us. That we want similar things for our families and our future. WHAT WE HAVE BUILT We are building a comprehensive web and mobile social platform for civic engagement. The social part of civ.works has launched. It is a privacy-protected, invite-only social network. Privacy-protected means we do not sell your data to anyone. Your profile data, your likes, your comments and posts are all yours. This is very important. Many of you may know that political operatives used the data from major social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to further manipulate and divide us with fake news and propaganda during the most recent election cycle. Invite-only is important for a few reasons. We think it will help us control the number of people that sign on to social media to simply troll and and disrespect others. It also helps us cautiously grow and plan our data center needs so we can provide a good, responsive experience for the civ.works community. The service costs $3.99 per month to use (however it is free to members of the academic community with .edu or .org email addresses). This is because we don’t sell advertising or your data. When you sign up, you are helping us cover the costs of a small core staff, the hosting expenses, and most importantly: completing the rest of the software engineering necessary for a comprehensive platform. WHAT’S COMING NEXT Regardless of the party in power, a new administration leads to policy changes that impact a variety of issues, including: Healthcare Education Climate Voter rights Civil rights Immigration Women’s Rights Retirement security Environmental issues Foreign policy Taxation Local employment If any of these issues are important to you, civ.works is the place for you to take action. We understand that with each issue there might be twenty different organizations competing for your time and money. There are a lot of civic action-based organizations out there, and the worst case scenario is a case of a person feeling overwhelmed by choices to engage and “action fatigue“. That’s why civ.works will focus on providing you with time-sensitive actions, aggregated and presented to you with clear options so you can engage when you can take action on issues most important to you either locally, regionally or virtually. Instead of trying to keep up with many different lists,emails, or Facebook groups, or other social platforms -civ.works makes civic engagement as easy, organized, and convenient as possible for the entire community. Later this year we will add the “Aspire” part of civ.works. This is where we bring people together, to build consensus on the issues we have in common and work together toward societal outcomes, -whatever the issue,and regardless of political side. We don’t believe you have to be a Republican to want a growing economy and you don’t have to be a Democrat to want to enjoy a clear blue sky. We hope you will join us and become part of our growing civ.works community. We are building something very powerful—together.