Syracuse woman creates app to promote, encourage civic engagement

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — There’s an app for just about everything. Lekia Hill wanted to create one that inspired civic engagement in Syracuse and beyond – so she created the Powerful Voices app.

“It’s sort of basically your hub, your civic engagement hub, if you think of it that way,” Hill explained. “You can register to vote, you can create communities and set up meet-ups in the app. You can look at bills and legislation in real-time on a state and federal level.”

It also allows you to find your polling location.

Voter turnout is usually low in a non-presidential election year. The Onondaga County Board of Elections is still working to certify the numbers from this year’s races, but expects this year to have the lowest voter turnout since 2015. The unofficial numbers for Onondaga County are 31% and the unofficial number for the City of Syracuse is a little more than 28%.

“It’s really heartbreaking especially when you’re someone who has actually seen it and then you see it coming based on your research,” Hill said in response to the low voter turnout.

She hopes powerful voices will help change that.

“Especially with the connection piece, the community piece, where you’re creating the profile and you’re connecting with others,” Hill added, “And for those who are more sophisticated in their civic engagement, who want to serve and help and volunteer, they could actually find those people to do it.”

She was able to create it by self-funding it, donations and a grant from the Central New York Community Foundation. She is continuing to raise money to add more features.

She wants to stress this tool is non-partisan.

“You can be extremely conservative to extremely progressive or in the middle. It’s really an app for everyone,” Hill said.

The app is free and you can download it on your phone’s app store. For more information, visit: https://powerfulvoicesapp.com

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