Photographed by Hillary Schave

When your baby has colic, any new mom can find it hard to keep up with politics. But struggling was new territory for Emily Kuhn, who has a master’s degree in public policy.

In 2016, she launched 1myVote, a free, nonpartisan app where voters can see who’s running for office and their platforms by district. Kuhn, who solved tricky problems at the Social Security Administration since 2002, hopes the user-friendly tool will reduce voter apathy and increase grassroots involvement. In the last year, over 2,500 users checked out federal and statewide races in 48 states, plus local races in Dane and Kenosha counties.

Allison Martinson, one of 17 staffers at 1myVote, says Kuhn is changing how people participate in politics. “1myVote doesn’t focus on individuals, but on issues,” says Martinson. “That’s how voting should be done.”

This year, Kuhn intends to reach 12,000 users with data for races in all 50 states. They can also pick their top issue and see which candidates align.

She’ll also show up on 1MyVote as a candidate for Middleton alder. She knew in third grade she’d run for office after a boy told her girls couldn’t run. That’s why she studied budgeting and economics in college. “Good policy means making sure it has the weight that’s needed as well as the funding.”

–Lisa Schuetz

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