January 30, 2013 Wednesday - updated 07:55 AM PT

MyMaryland.net Announces Beta Launch, Engaging Maryland Voters with Elected Officials

College Park, United States (IBwire.com - January 30, 2013)  

Just as the Maryland General Assembly has begun its latest session, MyMaryland.net is proud to announce the site’s public beta launch. The site is in its final stages of development and is ready to be used by the general public. MyMaryland had a successful soft launch last month, inviting stakeholders to preview the site.

MyMaryland.net is designed for voters to engage with Maryland elected officials in the efforts of creating a more open government. When users register for an account and enter their address, MyMaryland scans the Maryland Voter Registration File to verify them as registered voters. They are then linked to information pages for their elected officials.

Users are able to post in forums about their representatives. Elected officials are given the opportunity to engage directly with constituents by creating polls and participating in online discussions.

23-year-old MyMaryland.net Founder, Ben Simon, began designing the site with fellow University of Maryland students after identifying a need for a more transparent government. After months of planning and web development, their vision is a reality.

“It’s incredibly exciting to see the site attract its first user,” says Simon, “we view MyMaryland as a tool to completely transform the way constituents interact with officials and anticipate that the site launch will facilitate the creation of upcoming legislation.”

MyMaryland.net has already met with 55 elected officials and has received extremely positive feedback. MyMaryland is hopeful that both constituents and elected officials use the site as a tool to create a more effective government.

“Lawmakers need to hear more input on more issues more often. Communication between representatives and residents is critical to making government work,” says Delegate Tom Hucker (D-Dist. 20), “and sites like MyMaryland.net are a great way to foster better communication.”

MyMaryland.net has raised over $65,000 of seed funding to date, as well as $120,000 a year in advertising support from Google.

MyMaryland.net has received support from the Sunlight Foundation, a major organization in the open government movement. Additionally, MyMaryland was one of ten start-ups accepted into Point of Light’s inaugural Civic Accelerator program in October of 2012.

MyMaryland.net is a project of MyAmerica, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit devoted to developing new tools that increase civic engagement and strengthen government transparency and responsiveness.

MyAmerica plans on extending its platform to all 50 states in the next two years. By doing so, the organization hopes to transform representative democracy and facilitate an open dialogue on the local, state and national levels.

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MyMaryland.net is a new non-partisan, nonprofit website that connects Maryland residents with their elected officials to improve participation, transparency, and responsiveness in representative democracy.

 

Media Contact:

Molly Ellison
MyMaryland.net
.
College Park, MD

Phone: 301.335.7173
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