Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro unveiled a new texting system on Friday.
The system will enable Pennsylvanians to have direct conversations with the governor’s office.
The initiative is part of a broader effort by the Shapiro Administration to engage citizens more effectively and offer firsthand updates, according to the governor’s office.
The two-way communication is facilitated by Community, an text message-based engagement platform that links elected officials, businesses, public figures, and sports teams to their audiences via unique 10-digit phone numbers, Shapiro’s office said.
Pennsylvanians are encouraged to contact the governor directly at 717-788-8990.
Shapiro said the move is part of an ongoing effort to meet residents in their preferred communication spaces.
“Whether I’m visiting small businesses in Scranton or making an announcement in Erie, I want to share it directly with you,” Governor Shapiro stated. He emphasized the importance of accessibility, stating that citizens should expect assistance whether they walk into a government building or send a text.
“Whether I’m visiting small businesses in Scranton, making a major announcement in Erie, or coming to your area to meet with you and your neighbors – I want to share it with you directly,” said Shapiro.
Shapiro said he wants to hear the stories, concerns, and suggestions of Pennsylvanians.
Promising no “wrong door” to government access, the new tool allows residents to learn about the governor’s initiatives and access resources without the interference of algorithms or the selling of user data, according to the governor.
Shapiro isn’t the first big name to utilize Community. The platform, founded in 2019, boasts a list of notable users, including former President Barack Obama, President Joe Biden, influencers, and celebrities. Actor Ashton Kutcher is among its co-founders.
Earlier this year, in April, Governor Shapiro established the Commonwealth Office of Digital Experience (CODE PA) that focuses on enhancing online services and simplifying residents’ online interactions with the state.