Team

A project of The NewGov Foundation and The League of Technical Voters, 501(c)3.

 Britt Blaser, CEO, The NewGov Foundation

britt“I formed a lot of companies and projects starting with real estate development in Colorado, including a community shopping center, large-scale land developments, an interchange on a federal highway and a U.S. patent on a solar home design.

“In 1986-92, I was the angel investor and later President and CEO of Dynamac Computer, the first authorized Macintosh clone.

“America needs open source governance, which means open source policy development: NewGov.US, described at NewGov.net and now SNAPvote14.com. The NewGov and SNAPvote visions grew out of experiences as an advisor to the Howard Dean Campaign and as architect for web strategy, Spirit of America.

“Before NewGov and SNAPvote took over my life, I blogged at Escapable Logic, including my tales of air combat.”

Ankit Kapasi, CTO, The NewGov Foundation

ankit“With an engineering background in Telecommunications and Entrepreneurship and work experience in the private/public sector, I have 2 start-up companies that focus on the people side of technology.

“As the founder of Tangled, we are developing mobile, P2P services the elevate the relationship between a customer and their favorite businesses. If you have an app idea, we’re the partner for you.

“As the CTO of NewGov.US, we developed an open platform that acts as a relationship manager that empowers a constituent to communicate beyond election day. If you want to change the way DC works, we’re the partner for you.”

Tim Gholson, COO, The NewGov Foundation

“NewGov is my opportunity to make a difference in the world. I am very frustrated at the direction our political system is going. I believe there are many reasons why things are a mess, but the biggest is that politicians see this country as theirs. Their number one guiding principle seems to be ‘where’s the money?’ It needs to be ‘where are the votes?’

Today voter’s voices are almost muted if you are not a member of a lobbying group or PAC. NewGov has the ability to give regular voters a voice by letting our politicians know how their constituents feel. Today they listen to lobbyists; tomorrow they need to be listening to the voters. The Internet is the tool that makes this all possible and NewGov is the way to use the Internet. Our society is not going to change unless it is easy and NewGov is an easy way to show how you feel.”

Born and raised and always lived in Iowa. Graduated from Coe College, in Cedar Rapids, IA. Worked for Wells Fargo Bank for 26 years. Worked from Loan Collector to Bank President. NewGov for 3 years.

Brian Blaser, CIO, The NewGov Foundation

Brian“The question is not “why” do newgov.us and snapvote14.com, but how we got away from government by the consent of the governed in the first place. How did corporations, PACs and special interest groups erode this basic tenet of our democracy? From this perspective, there is no “why”. There is only “vow”; I vow to make it right again. And I am not alone.

“We all must vow together to stand up against overreaching power. In the words of Edmond Burke, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” (today, he’d say men and women). I’m not alone in feeling that women are the most important element to taking the power back and fighting down the good ole boys clubs who would seek to see us all enslaved to their self-serving greed and profiteering machines. Thus the NewGov group ERA now.

“Another is information. As we learn how to use our power, our choices are no longer made without data. An educated populace is our best defense against tyranny, and in particular, that Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education holds the key to reforming politics. Politicians, who largely play on people’s emotions, will no longer hold sway over the majority in a STEM-educated constituency. STEM education is the ubiquitous shield that can protect us from questionable intentions. Recently the NewGov Foundation joined forces with Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) emerging business group because of their understanding and commitment to this principle (ESRI just pledged $1B to STEM education).”

Aekta Kapasi, Creative Advisor, The NewGov Foundation

aekta“I am a revisionist, who actively challenges the status quo—in art, business, government, and society. I am involved with new ventures that shift the balance of power to individuals.

“Information is power. And I methodically aggregate diverse perspectives, contextualize, visualize, and aesthetically present complex information to solve global problems.

“Currently Creative Advisor at NewGov, I designed the brand identity and recommended information designs and navigation designs for NewGov’s crowd-sourced policy and relationship management website.”

Raz Martyniuk, The NewGov Foundation

me petting a tiger at the tiger temple“I believe today’s modern political landscape has taken the voice away from the voters and into the hands of lobbyists and wealthy political groups. With NewGov, our goal is to create a platform that will reconnect millions of Americans with the legislators they voted for and placed into power. By creating a thriving online community, NewGov can offer the transparency and tools needed to advance local, state, and federal issues for the people, and by the people.

“Born in Poland under martial law, my family emigrated to the United States in the 1980s searching for the American Dream and found it in New Jersey. Educated at the University of Richmond, I have spent the past decade consulting on and engineering enterprise systems in the government, financial, and telecom industries.”

Jacqueline Amyot, CSI (Chief Success Implementor), The NewGov Foundation

jacque“I’m a recent addition to the NewGov and SNAPvote team, immediately drawn towards the idea that I could be a part of something that actually influenced and changed the current political system. When I was in high school and heading to college, I was extremely interested in politics and thought about taking that direction in my schooling and career. However I quickly became frustrated in how the country was being run and how decisions were being made and never feeling like my vote had any influence. After being in New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina and seeing how the government responded to that, it made me angry and I literally saw that people were not heard or taken care of. And don’t get me started on our education system…

“The approach of NewGov and SNAPvote makes sense and makes me believe that we can actually activate change. I couldn’t be more excited and enthusiastic to be a part of this smart and inspiring team.”

Born in NYC, raised in Katonah, NY. Graduated from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. Worked at Goodmind, a forward-thinking market research firm until launching my own company, Side Smirk in December 2012. Side Smirk utilizes new technology for consumer insights.

Spencer Shireman, Social Media Marketing, The NewGov Foundation

spencer“I got connected with NewGov as the social media account manager for a Des Moines digital advertising agency. I immediately fell in love with the mission of (and let’s be honest – the people behind) NewGov. My background is in politics. I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in Political Communications and after working on the presidential campaign for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and the Iowa gubernatorial campaign for a gentleman named Christian Fong, I knew that policy, not politics was where I belonged.

“Fast forward a few years and I’m now the Social Media Specialist for a large insurance company based out of Des Moines. While I am no longer paid for the work I do for NewGov, the experience and mission are more than enough to keep me involved. I’m lucky enough to marry my two passions of policy and social media during my day job, but to then volunteer to grow and foster NewGov’s social community’s after that… Well, that’s just fun.

“NewGov is going to change the way Americans of every party and belief interact with their elected officials and I want to be there every step of the way.”

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