Freagle will transform political discourse and restore representation in the democratic process by connecting voters and politicians in the way our Founding Fathers intended but adapted for the Digital Age. Freagle will provide an avenue for communication, factual information and tools to improve citizen engagement, thereby mitigating the influences of money, bias and partisan rhetoric which dominant the current political environment.
Welcome to Freagle! Thank you for taking the time to visit our website, and we hope that you’ll spend a few minutes and check out what we have to offer.
Freagle was born out of my experience in the world of business and politics. I was raised in a conservative South Louisiana family back when we were a Blue State. After earning an economics degree, I worked for several years in corporate America, where I dealt mostly with public sector accounts. From this vantage point, I was able to see the areas of government that worked well and others that didn’t, as well as the ins and outs of government contracting. Sadly, I found that access to the right people is often as important as qualifications.
In 2009, I returned to school to get a Master’s degree in Public Administration, along the way becoming involved in advocating for changes in our state’s criminal justice policy. From this vantage point, I was able to see the inside of how our system of government works – both the good and the bad. It was only after opposing a well-meaning but poorly thought-out bill that passed with the Governor’s support that I reached a turning point.
A legislator approached me after the bill’s hearing and apologized for voting for it! He explained to me that his single vote of no would not have changed the outcome, but that it was “a Governor’s bill” and that if he opposed it the Governor would block other legislation that was important for his constituency. It was at that moment that I realized how dysfunctional our political system had become and understood the real-life impact it has on people’s lives.
This was during an election year, and our Governor was running essentially unopposed. I was personally affected by what I had seen and experienced the past few years, and made the decision to run against him.
Although my campaign did not win, I was able to express and share the experiences and ideas formed over years of experience in the private sector and public policy. And it was in this experience that the seed of Freagle was planted.
At different times of my life, I have considered myself a Republican and a Democrat. But I have come to appreciate, like most Americans, that neither political party has a lock on good ideas. Very few Americans live on the extremes and agree with their political party on every issue.
Over the past few decades, politics has become a game. We no longer select our elected leaders based on merit or substance, but on who can raise the most money and run the best 30-second advertisements during premium airtime. I have witnessed from all sides how political debate has been diminished to rhetoric, sound bites and glossy circulars.
There’s another side to it, though. People are yearning for something new in politics. The Tea Party, the Occupy movement, the candidacies of various politicians not affiliated with either party – while made up of people from different ends of the ideological spectrum - all speak to the frustrations and disappointments of everyday Americans with the way our political system is working.
While our elected officials should shoulder their share of the blame, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Systems theory predicts that leaders who rise to power in any system are only as functional (or dysfunctional) as the system itself. Politicians, voters, interest groups – we are all political actors performing to the best of our abilities within a dysfunctional system. We are all in this together, and the business world teaches us that solving problems is more important than laying blame.
My focus was finding a solution outside of government. I began asking different questions and analyzing the problem in different ways. I used my knowledge and experiences from being a voter, a candidate, an advocate, a lobbyist and a government contractor to assess the problem from the different perspectives. I worked to combine my knowledge of government and politics with that of business and economics.
The result was Freagle. I hope you’ll stay engaged with us as we work to roll out the platform, and let us know what you think!
Chief Technical Officer