Kim Pieper: New tech tool to expose the influence of big business in politics

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Everyone talks about how big business has too much influence over our political process, and sadly, many of us have witnessed it firsthand. Through meeting after meeting, I’ve watched CEOs and their lobbyists make demands to elected officials that were not in the best interest of their customers. Something was misaligned. Shouldn’t corporations be pushing political agendas that benefit their customers, the people who buy their products and keep them in business?

The problem is that consumers haven’t had an easy way to access information about company policies and practices, so we keep supporting them, and corporations have no reason to change. What we’ve been waiting for is an easy, trackable way to vote with our dollars.

Enter Tribe.

This new and amazing tool instantly shares information about company practices while you shop. Simply add Tribe to your web browser, and when you select a product for purchase on Amazon, a small box appears in the corner of the screen that tells you about a company’s policies and practices. Are their products cruelty-free? Do they support policies and programs that you disagree with? If a company is doing something you don’t like, Tribe suggests products from other companies you may want to support instead. Most importantly, we let the companies know how their practices are affecting their own bottom line.

Currently, Tribe shares information with consumers on companies’ animal cruelty practices. In 2020, Tribe will roll out new information that will provide consumers with a company’s broad political contributions (Democrat or Republican). And we’ll continue adding issues at our users’ requests. I invite you to add Tribe to your browser now and join our beta users in helping us shape our vision for 2020. Go to jointribe.us to be a part of our tribe.

Just as mass movements have come from great people taking ONE decisive act, we must start influencing corporations who hold an inordinate amount of power over our lives in the same way. Corporations have a duty to maximize profits to their shareholders. Tribe simply shows companies that consumers value more than the product they are purchasing. They value the way a company does business. By demonstrating that their political, social, and environmental practices impact companies’ profit margins, we can compel companies to change.

We are a tribe of 7 billion people on this planet. And when we all have access to information, we can change the world. One small act at a time. I hope you’ll join us.

You can get Tribe at www.jointribe.us

- Kim Pieper

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Maryland’s leading source of aggregated and original news and opinion on government, politics, business and more. Called one of the “nation’s best state-based political blogs” by the Washington Post.