Twilio debuts initiative to help developers build democracy tech

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While onstage at the 10th annual Crunchies Awards last night, Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson talked a bit about a new initiative to connect people with their government representatives. The program, called Twilio Voices for Democracy is part of the company’s Twilio.org program dedicated to helping nonprofits make a difference through utilizing their tech.

The program donates or discounts Twilio products and helps nonprofits make use of the tech to “engage their audience, expand their reach and focus on making a real change in the world,” according to the initiative’s site.

Twilio.org has worked on partnerships with the Red Cross to streamline emergency response dispatches, alongside other efforts related to stopping human trafficking and improving experiences at children’s hospitals.

Voices for Democracy is aiming to help developers bring people deeper into the democratic process.

“We feel that in this politically charged climate, no matter what your opinions are, the most important thing you can do is to tell your representatives what you believe, and we want to help the developers of the world who are doing that,” Lawson told TechCrunch.

The Voices for Democracy tool joins a host of other initiatives led by tech companies in Silicon Valley aiming to use tech to create a more meaningful sense of transparency in politics.

Twilio is still finessing some of the details, but developers interested in applicable projects can text their email address to “TWILIO” to sign up for updates, Lawson says.