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Szelena Gray is the Executive Director of Rootstrikers, a new generation of activists founded by Lawrence Lessig to take a stand against the corrupting influence of money in politics. Found a good story about corruption? Use #Rootstrikers.
There are many ways to define smart consumerism — including being budget, GMO, organic, or fairtrade conscious. Why not add corruption to the list?
For companies whose products we buy every day, it's business as usual to spend millions of dollars to influence public elections. Yet most Americans don’t shop according to their views on money in politics, and if they would, might not know where to begin. On May 19th, Rootstrikers in fourteen cities across the country will aim to change that with a public education campaign about the money that flows into politics from some of our favorite brands.
Here's the plan: Rootstrikers will head to local consumer haunts and, with the help of a radical new app called BizVizz -- an iPhone app that provides people with data on corporate accountability including taxes, government subsidies and federal campaign contributions -- will shine a light on the connection between our shopping carts and congressional coffers.
BizVizz is powered by Sunlight’s Influence Explorer API with public data from Federal Election Commission filings, IRS filings and other government records.