A new good-government organization is turning to the app to let people connect with their state lawmakers. Sound Off is the name of the “citizen activation tool” for Reboot Illinois. It lets you find out who your lawmaker is and automatically send him or her a message. The four legislative leaders and the governor can be messaged as well this way. Matt Dietrich, the executive editor of Reboot Illinois, says the hope is this is more effective than, say, an online petition or hundreds of identical postcards.
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“You can use the message that we have, and it’s a fairly detailed message about the issue, or you can edit it as you see fit to make your own personalized message,” says Dietrich. He adds that what separates Sound Off from other messaging systems is that “this is only going to your representative and your senator. So, when they receive this, they are receiving it from a constituent – someone who could vote for them.” The app covers seven areas of interest now, including pensions, the Illinois income tax, and charter schools.