Saugus High alum creates political site to get voters Pulse (VIDEO)
From left, Drake Hougo, Sean O'Bannon and Andrew Quirk work together in Tresidder Union at Stanford on Friday.
By Perry Smith
Friday, March 16th, 2018

While Santa Clarita Valley students marched on campuses and across town Wednesday as part of a national call to action, complaints of a disconnect could be heard on campuses from CalArts to Canyon High.   

“The average citizen feels blocked out of the political process despite having every tool to be constantly engaged,” said Drake Hougo, a Saugus High alum and Stanford sophomore, explaining the idea behind the new app and site he and a couple friends are creating called Pulse.

 

 

“I started working on Pulse last April, with two friends I met through the Stanford Running Club,” Hougo said. “They’re both computer science majors and we’re all interested in politics.”

For Hougo, a double major in economics and political science, along with friends Sean O’Bannon and Andrew Quirk, the effort is devoutly nonpartisan, and they’re trying to reach as many representatives as they can.

From left, Drake Hougo, Sean O’Bannon and Andrew Quirk work together in Tresidder Union at Stanford on Friday.

But the seeds of engagement were planted at least a year earlier for Drake Hougo.

Drake’s dad, Von Hougo, a teacher in the Santa Clarita Valley, was actually a big part of the initial inspiration. Von Hougo created a campaign for the Senate in 2016, which was inspired by populist, even if somewhat “naive,” ideals, the elder Hougo confessed Friday.

But the campaign taught resonating lessons.

Running as a Republican who didn’t really connect with either party platform and either presidential candidate, Von Hougo found that there was much antipathy between the two partisan sides, but putting his personal cellphone on his ballot information (which was sent out to approximately 17 million Californians), made him realize most people are “in the middle.”

For Drake Hougo, the takeaway started the journey to Pulse.

“It was basically (the understanding) that technology has impacted every realm of our lives, but has not made the transition to government,” he said, “but it can be used to connect citizens to their elected reps on really a daily basis.”

And thus, Pulse was born.

They’ve already had a few sign up to be involved, and they’re hoping to make a big announcement after spring break regarding who all is involved.

They’ve been able to use their time at Stanford to take advantage of the StartX Accelerator Program, and it’s helped them earn a fellowship over the summer, which they plan to use to further Pulse’s development.

“It’s been really helpful to have these connections through that accelerator program,” said O’Bannon. “We’ve revamped the software.”

The group is looking for a revolution, said O’Bannon, the goal was a simple one.

“We definitely are a republic, we see this as a way our representatives can better understand the needs of their constituents,” O’Bannon said. “We want to allow our representatives to better understand the demographics that they serve, and we want to allow constituents to be able to voice their opinion more effectively than they ever have been able to.”

Right now, the focus on their site, Pulsevoter.com, is on the bills that are receiving the most media coverage, such as the American Healthcare Act and the Assault Weapons Ban of 2018.

The group is also looking for summer interns to help them develop their project. Anyone interested in learning more about Pulse can email contact@Pulsevoter.com.

About the author

Perry Smith

Perry Smith

Saugus High alum creates political site to get voters Pulse (VIDEO)

While Santa Clarita Valley students marched on campuses and across town Wednesday as part of a national call to action, complaints of a disconnect could be heard on campuses from CalArts to Canyon High.   

“The average citizen feels blocked out of the political process despite having every tool to be constantly engaged,” said Drake Hougo, a Saugus High alum and Stanford sophomore, explaining the idea behind the new app and site he and a couple friends are creating called Pulse.

 

 

“I started working on Pulse last April, with two friends I met through the Stanford Running Club,” Hougo said. “They’re both computer science majors and we’re all interested in politics.”

For Hougo, a double major in economics and political science, along with friends Sean O’Bannon and Andrew Quirk, the effort is devoutly nonpartisan, and they’re trying to reach as many representatives as they can.

From left, Drake Hougo, Sean O’Bannon and Andrew Quirk work together in Tresidder Union at Stanford on Friday.

But the seeds of engagement were planted at least a year earlier for Drake Hougo.

Drake’s dad, Von Hougo, a teacher in the Santa Clarita Valley, was actually a big part of the initial inspiration. Von Hougo created a campaign for the Senate in 2016, which was inspired by populist, even if somewhat “naive,” ideals, the elder Hougo confessed Friday.

But the campaign taught resonating lessons.

Running as a Republican who didn’t really connect with either party platform and either presidential candidate, Von Hougo found that there was much antipathy between the two partisan sides, but putting his personal cellphone on his ballot information (which was sent out to approximately 17 million Californians), made him realize most people are “in the middle.”

For Drake Hougo, the takeaway started the journey to Pulse.

“It was basically (the understanding) that technology has impacted every realm of our lives, but has not made the transition to government,” he said, “but it can be used to connect citizens to their elected reps on really a daily basis.”

And thus, Pulse was born.

They’ve already had a few sign up to be involved, and they’re hoping to make a big announcement after spring break regarding who all is involved.

They’ve been able to use their time at Stanford to take advantage of the StartX Accelerator Program, and it’s helped them earn a fellowship over the summer, which they plan to use to further Pulse’s development.

“It’s been really helpful to have these connections through that accelerator program,” said O’Bannon. “We’ve revamped the software.”

The group is looking for a revolution, said O’Bannon, the goal was a simple one.

“We definitely are a republic, we see this as a way our representatives can better understand the needs of their constituents,” O’Bannon said. “We want to allow our representatives to better understand the demographics that they serve, and we want to allow constituents to be able to voice their opinion more effectively than they ever have been able to.”

Right now, the focus on their site, Pulsevoter.com, is on the bills that are receiving the most media coverage, such as the American Healthcare Act and the Assault Weapons Ban of 2018.

The group is also looking for summer interns to help them develop their project. Anyone interested in learning more about Pulse can email contact@Pulsevoter.com.

Upcoming Events

Jan
12
Fri
all-day Domes – Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library
Domes – Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library
Jan 12 – May 11 all-day
Domes - Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Local resident Naomi Young, is the artist featured in the latest exhibit at the Old Town Newhall Library. The exhibit features original paintings and multimedia by Young, an artist born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel,[...]
Feb
1
Thu
all-day “The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarit... @ Valencia Library
“The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarit... @ Valencia Library
Feb 1 – Jun 1 all-day
“The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarita,” Art Exhibit @ Valencia Library  | Santa Clarita | California | United States
“THE GOLDEN OAKS OF SANTA CLARITA” ART EXHIBIT BY BRAD SERGI ON DISPLAY AT THE VALENCIA LIBRARY Library hours: Mon-Thu 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Fri 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sat 10 a.m. – 5[...]
Feb
14
Wed
all-day Tickets Available Now for 41st A... @ Dodger Stadium
Tickets Available Now for 41st A... @ Dodger Stadium
Feb 14 – May 12 all-day
Tickets Available Now for 41st Annual SCV Dodger Day @ Dodger Stadium | Los Angeles | California | United States
SANTA CLARITA DODGER DAY TICKETS ON SALE NOW! Tickets Start at $25 and Benefit Local Schools and Non-Profits It’s time to step up to the plate! The Santa Clarita City Council invites residents to purchase[...]
Apr
19
Thu
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 19 – Apr 22 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
Apr
20
Fri
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 20 – Apr 23 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
7:00 pm Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Apr 20 @ 7:00 pm
Hart High School Presents 'Bye, Bye Birdie' @ Hart High school Auditorium | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Spring Musical Coming April 2018! Hart High Theatre is proud to present Bye Bye Birdie! April 19, 20, 27 & 28 @ 7pm April 28 & 29 @ 1pm When the draft selects rock star[...]
Apr
21
Sat
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 21 – Apr 24 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
10:00 am Astronomy Day @ Valencia Library
Astronomy Day @ Valencia Library
Apr 21 @ 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
The Local Group Astronomy Club and The Santa Clarita Public Library present our free annual Astronomy Day Celebration. We will be at the Valencia branch of the Santa Clarita Public Library from 10am to 3pm.[...]
10:00 am Resource Parents Needed to Foste... @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222
Resource Parents Needed to Foste... @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222
Apr 21 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Resource Parents Needed to Foster or Foster-Adopt a Child @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222 | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Adoption is a meaningful way for individuals and couples to fulfill their dream of parenting.  There are approximately 64,000 children in foster care in California.  Los Angeles County’s foster care population exceeds 21,000 children with[...]
10:00 am The City of Lancaster’s 27th Ann... @ Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park
The City of Lancaster’s 27th Ann... @ Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park
Apr 21 @ 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
The City of Lancaster’s 27th Annual California Poppy Festival, Sat & Sun @ Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park | Lancaster | California | United States
On April 21 and 22, the City of Lancaster will host the 27th annual California Poppy Festival™ at Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park (43063 10th Street West). Drawing more than 40,000 attendees and spanning 35[...]