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In a democratic society, the people must be informed and identify as active participants in their governing system. As recent events have shown, when citizens remain disengaged from civic life, there's nothing to stop elected officials from taking advantage of their position for personal gain. It's easy to see the politicians as corrupt leaders; however, the reality is that it's the consumers who keep them there. Money has a louder voice and a stronger impact on politics than anything else. The power of your vote is equal to the power of your dollar, and by giving companies your money, you can influence the products they produce and affect policy at a higher level. The question then becomes: How do you find brands that match your values? The VotingSmarter civic startup has created a solution to this problem.

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VotingSmarter was founded on the idea that ending corruption at the top levels of our government begins with consumers' wallets. With brands playing a crucial role in shaping culture and politics, VotingSmarter wants to empower the electorate by helping them connect with brands that match their values. The company's goal is to help consumers find companies that match their values and only support businesses that care about the environment, labor rights, LGBTQIA+ equality, gender equity, or any other issue they're passionate about. VotingSmarter believes that shopping your value is equally as important as voting your value, and that's why they have invested so heavily in tech.

VotingSmarter launched its cutting-edge Chrome Extension a few months ago to maximize shoppers' civic engagement. To make a difference when shopping, a user only needs to take a short quiz on issues to enable the team to match them automatically to brands that align with their values. The results are instant, and the extension shows how well you match each brand you visit. That means you don't just have to protest in the streets to make your voice heard; you can make sure your money only goes to like-minded brands and support the world you want to see directly with your wallet. The VotingSmarter Chrome extension couldn't have come at a better time!

In June 2022, millions of citizens watched as the US Supreme Court made a historic ruling reversing women's constitutional right to abortion. The electorate on both sides expressed varying emotions, and so did brands. The truth is, that decision was one in a long line of many policies with far-reaching implications that the electorate can prevent through their money. In recent years, the deliberate attempts by corporations and lobbying groups to sway public opinion have contributed a lot to the loss of faith in the political system. One way this manifests is through "Super PACs," which allow corporations, unions, trade associations, or other entities to make unlimited contributions that fund ad campaigns on behalf of specific causes or candidates.

To increase civic engagement, VotingSmarter plans on increasing its impact by taking its efforts to Web3 platforms. The team hopes to release 10,000 NFTs of change-makers from modern history to raise awareness around the legalized corruption of lobbying and Super PACs in the American political system later this year. The goal is to galvanize a community of disaffected "degens" and drastically grow the Web3 and NFT community to assist people who want to play their role in the fight for political equality, end political corruption, and eliminate disinformation.