Why I Joined Phone2Action
The CEO of Capitol Canary explains why he stepped onboard: because technology is now powering change on an evolutionary scale, creating tectonic shifts in how we voice our views, communicate with government and take action.
I never expected to write this post, at least not this year. In February, I worked my last day at Logi Analytics, the company where I spent more than a decade in leadership roles before taking the helm as CEO. My departure marked the end of a big chapter in my life. I fully intended to take time off.
Yet eight short weeks later, I found myself in a glass office in Arlington signing the papers to join Phone2Action [now Capitol Canary] as chief executive. Reasonable people—my wife, my parents, my friends—have asked why I declined the break and jumped back into work. While I understand the question, and it always makes me smile, my reasons are both serious and solid.
The past decade is a unique time in America and around the globe, where the policies that drive American life have an indelible impact on the world. Last year, as many as 26 million people took to the streets to protest racial injustice, perhaps the largest movement ever on U.S. soil. And that was no solitary act. In recent years, women have marched, students have rallied, and companies long wary of controversy have waded into social issues. Of course, America is not alone. Voices for change have been heard all over the globe, from Hong Kong to Ukraine to the nations involved in the Arab Spring.
Across all of these causes and countries, technology has been the driver, the universal mechanism for mobilization. Apps, platforms and software are the tools used to inform people, to organize protests, to launch campaigns and to lift up new voices. While activism has always existed, technology is now powering change on an evolutionary scale, creating tectonic shifts in how we voice our views, communicate with government and take action.
When I met Phone2Action, I saw a young company passionate about providing technology to help organizations understand and engage on the policy landscape. By connecting advocacy with intelligence solutions and meaningful data, they were helping to move people and policy. I was more than a little intrigued.
My interest grew as I learned. The pandemic gave rise to an advocacy boom last year that moved millions of people to act as organizations like the American Nurses Association and the National Restaurant Association fought to protect their members. At one point, more than 52,000 people were taking action on the Phone2Action platform every single day—an average of 36 people every minute. Think about that.
The action continued this year as vital policy decisions at every level of government—local, state and federal—guide America’s recovery. Advocacy numbers were explosive during President Biden’s first 100 days as organizations fought to shape these decisions, and that shows no sign of slowing. Airbnb, whose home-sharing platform is reshaping travel and helping many Americans earn extra income, is an impressive example. Airbnb regularly provides opportunities for its hosts to connect with public officials to advocate for policies that make it possible for home sharing to be a viable option for earning incomes. In the first four months of 2021, the company engaged in more than 90 campaigns across the country, providing opportunities for thousands of hosts to share personal stories with state and local policymakers. I cannot help but wonder what would happen if major brands like Apple, Nike, and Procter & Gamble did the same.
The opportunity is equally vibrant for Phone2Action, which passed the twin milestones this year of enabling more than 100,000 campaigns and sending more than 100 million messages to policymakers since its launch in 2013.
The company is at an inflection point. Fresh off of two exciting acquisitions, GovPredict and KnowWho, Phone2Action is now a complete solution for enterprise organizations with policy challenges at all levels of government. These organizations need to act fast and focus their resources to maximum effect, and Phone2Action offers a simple and intuitive software solution that will help coordinate, activate, cut through the noise and drive policy wins.
Phone2Action is now powering government relations, public affairs and advocacy for more than 1,200 companies, associations and nonprofits. With a battle-tested product and a veteran team, Phone2Action can continue to grow, lifting up new voices and moving millions of people to act. That is something I want to be part of. Time off can wait.