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Saturday, Aug 13, 2022
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Videos Cast Propositions As Stars

Ever had trouble wading through the thick pamphlet at election time and trying to make sense of the ballot propositions?

Six years ago, Nate Kaplan did and, more importantly, so did his boss, then-Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl.

“Here was the first openly gay member on the City Council – a super-aware citizen – and it took him hours to understand the ballot material for Proposition 8,” Kaplan said. “That’s when I realized there was a desperate need for a simpler explanation.”

And so was born SeePolitical, a non-profit that creates simple two-minute animated videos to explain ballot propositions. Kaplan partnered with Imaginary Forces, a visual effects and animation studio in West Los Angeles, and produced some test videos for this year’s June primary. He also brought on board another partner, Guru Media Solutions of San Francisco, to develop a website and mobile app.

SeePolitical is now trying to crowdfund $90,000 to pay for the effort. The non-profit is also seeking volunteers to research the six propositions on the November ballot, with the aim of producing a two-minute video for each. The videos are set to be released online and through television news programs next month and will include animated characters and diagrams.

Eventually, Kaplan said, the goal is to have SeePolitical videos for ballot measures in every state and in major cities.

“The aim is to present easy-to-understand, yet entertaining explanations of the ballot measures so voters won’t be so befuddled,” he said. “Most videos now are produced by one side of a campaign or the other; there are no objective videos.”

– Howard Fine

Howard Fine
Howard Fine
Howard Fine is a 23-year veteran of the Los Angeles Business Journal. He covers stories pertaining to healthcare, biomedicine, energy, engineering, construction, and infrastructure. He has won several awards, including Best Body of Work for a single reporter from the Alliance of Area Business Publishers and Distinguished Journalist of the Year from the Society of Professional Journalists.
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