Count Love

Protests for a kinder world.

On Jan. 18, 2018, we mailed off a card to each senator and congressional representative with the following message: “Last year, local news outlets reported over 571 protests in California about civil rights, racial injustice, immigration, healthcare, and the environment where your constituents advocated for a more compassionate country.” Of course, we didn’t send the California card to everyone—we artisanally crafted fifty different cards and tailored the protest counts for each state. They look like this on the outside...

California protest card, outside

...and like this on the inside:

California protest card, inside

The cards were fun to make. We printed, stuffed, and stamped each one by hand...

Minnesota Protest Card

...and there were a lot of names to get through: five hundred thirty five, in total. (While preparing these cards, it struck us as a bit odd that in some states with just one congressional representative, that representative represents more people but has less voting power than the senators in the same state.)

Protest Card for Ed Royce

We don’t know if any senators or representatives will actually see our card; we hope that at least a few will. We came up with the idea of making informational cards for everyone while visiting with our family in December. We were brainstorming how we could use all the protest data that we’ve amassed to try and make a difference. As engineers and scientists and programmers, our tendency is to think about the endless number of technically fascinating problems that we could solve to make crawling news articles and categorizing protests easier (in fact, we do love solving these types of problems and we’ve worked on many of them in the past year). But, to help advocate for a more compassionate country, we need to do more than collect data. We have to reach out and communicate continuously, and this is our first attempt to tell our country’s elected officials what their constituents asked for over the last year.

Off to mail all 535 cards!

Heading out to mail everything...yes, it was about 24˚F...