GovSight is a non-profit technology and news company which was formed in 2019. In our weekly GovSight Diaries series, we share the stories of our challenges and successes in hopes that others can learn from our accomplishments and struggles.

Have you ever stared at an electoral map and wondered why certain states are the color they are? Well, you’re halfway there. Kind of.

The way I approach my job as political director of GovSight is the same way I did as an overly excited fifth grader learning about politics and government for the first time. Constantly trying to break down maps into more easily digestible portions, I summarized our whole political system as: Republicans want lower taxes and less government, while Democrats want more taxes and more government.

If only it was so simple!

As the years have gone by, the apparent complexity of what goes on in our massive federal government has never been lost on me. Compelled to understand, I have spent countless hours taking in and studying the system to try and distill the common factors we can break it down to.

This is why I do what I do. To help others understand the system that affects us all.

At GovSight, we strive to answer how every political story impacts you. Some stories, such as federal foreign aid, may not impact your day-to-day life very much. Other stories, such as the COVID-19 relief bill, make a big difference.

Bringing all of these stories home — literally to your kitchen table, as they have to mine — is what I strive to do in my job. If I can explain to you how a polling change in a Senate race might actually affect your paycheck, then my job is being done correctly.

And too often there is tendency in political journalism to stray from analysis, to only report the facts — to only let the people hear and not understand. To me, this is only doing half the job. While reportage of the facts is important, so is making space for explaining what and why these facts will alter the way you operate. What good is telling you about a polling change in a Senate race if I cannot explain to you that one candidate supports a lower tax rate for middle class earners versus another who thinks we should increase the age of social security?

If you want to know more about politics and how to better your own life along with it, listen to the people — like me — who are dedicated to helping you understand.

These are the issues that matter. These are the issues that impact you. And that is the reason I “political direct.”

Contact the author at joemagliocco@govsight.com.