Election campaigns in a NutShell
After having his fair share of door to door knocking and phone bank experience as part of a political campaign, Andre Del Valle decided there had to be a better way to reach out to voters.
“Many times voters don't know who is even running for office and simply vote based on name recognition, and as educated voters we should know what qualifications each candidate has to offer before making our decision in the voting booth,” said the 22 year old Philadelphia native.
Last Tuesday he launched NutShell Politics, a free iPhone mobile application that allows users to view and contact local candidates running for the Philadelphia primary elections.
“This is a brand new journey for me. Is something that I think we need especially in a generation where people are always on social media and everyone wants everything at their fingertips,” Del Valle said.
“We are big on technology but there was nothing like this out there and that is why I decided to develop it," he said.
A La Salle University political science graduate and current legislative assistant for the City of Philadelphia, Del Valle started developing the project last April.
“Each candidate's profile includes their bio, their platform, and direct contact to their campaign," Del Valle said. "There are links that directly open into their social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube)."
Although the app is free for users, candidates must pay $100 to make use of this platform for their campaign. So far all six mayoral candidates appear in the app, as well as as many of the City Council candidates.
With this, project De Valle hopes to encourage in particular the civic participation of millennials and Latino voters, "who sometimes don’t trust that their vote matters."
"As Latinos we need to make sure that we get the right people elected. With the growing population of Latinos, not only locally but nationally, we have to come together because we are not being represented. We still haven’t had the first Latino president, we still don’t have a Latino mayor in Philadelphia. I think is time we change that,” Del Valle said.
For now the app only provides information on Philadelphia elections but the plan is to expand the project. “Eventually I hope to expand to the whole state of Pennsylvania and New York by the general elections in November. And then go national for the big 2016 elections," he said.