D’Seanté Parks is a 2022 Echoing Green Fellow and the founder of 1000 MORE, a civic empowerment app that eliminates barriers to civic participation for communities who have historically been disenfranchised. Echoing Green asked D’Seanté about her theory of change, the importance of civic tools beyond election season, and her advice for leaders interested in applying for the Echoing Green Fellowship.
At Echoing Green, we love to ask, what was your “moment of obligation” that inspired you to start your organization? In other words, what circumstances or life experiences led you to start your organization?
I have been interested in civic engagement since I was very young. I just didn’t know what it was called. I wanted all the people in my community to run for office so we could have power over our own lives.
I had been working in politics for about nine years when I woke up in the middle of the night from a vivid dream about this platform. It was helping people crowdfund advocacy efforts to disrupt the big lobby on a specific bill. I saw the whole thing very clearly. I sat up in bed and bought the domain 1000 MORE dot com right then.
I named the platform after a quote often attributed to Harriett Tuman, “I freed 1000 slaves; I would have freed 1000 more if only they had known they were slaves.” I later learned that she never said that, but the sentiment holds. I believe that once people know what they don’t know, they will realize their full civic power.
What is the mission and goal of 1000 MORE? What does the future you’re fighting for look like?
The mission and goal of 1000 MORE is to make it as easy as possible to stay informed and take action on policies coming up for a vote that impact our lives. It’s important that we don’t only check in with our elected officials every 2-4 years during campaign season. In five years, young voters will ask how we tracked policies before 1000 MORE and they will be shocked when we tell them we didn’t.
The theory of change for 1000 MORE is that we keep people involved beyond election seasons. Once people vote for their favorite candidates, they can sign up for 1000 MORE to keep in touch with them until re-election.
You describe 1000 MORE as a “one stop marketplace for politics.” Who are the platform’s various users and what does the platform help them do?
We have three different kinds of users: constituents, elected officials, and advocacy organizations.
We meet constituents where they’re at, on social media! We are a web-based application because it allows us to easily integrate into Instagram, Tik Tok, Facebook, and Twitter. We post about political news and policies with a clickable button to take action, so that constituents can connect with their elected officials and crowdfund advocacy organizations.
Elected officials have an interface that allows them to track real-time polling of their constituents on each bill they are responsible for voting on. Since we run our own digital organizing efforts, advocacy organizations can be listed under the donation feature and break through their echo chamber to connect with new donors and supporters.
How has Echoing Green supported your growth as a leader and your vision for your work since becoming a Fellow in April 2022?
The vote of confidence from Echoing Green reignited my confidence in myself and my vision. The continued support of the other Fellows and the entire Echoing Green team gives me energy to keep doing the work even when progress seems uphill and distant.
What is your best piece of advice for emerging social entrepreneurs interested in applying for the Echoing Green Fellowship?
Stay true to your vision! Have confidence in your unique idea and ability to execute it.
What’s next for 1000 MORE?
We are focused on user acquisition and generating enough revenue to expand the team, so we can launch state and local legislation. Sign up to receive our weekly MORE POWER newsletter, a 10-min read on nonpartisan political news written in a way that doesn’t require a law degree to understand, civic tools that make it super easy to take action, and updates about 1000 MORE.