Photo: Chris Evans/Lionsgate
Remember how excited you are to watch Chris Evans as Captain America saving the world on screen? Well, he might just be a true-life Avenger as he protects civilization in real-life. In fact, given the USA’s power and position in world politics, Evans might just be saving the world with his new initiative ‘A Starting Point’ which encourages both sides of the political spectrum to have a healthy discussion on important matters that affect us all.
In an age where news media often runs rampant with bias and misinformation, it can be difficult to find a good source to answer any of the political questions that you may have. Luckily, Chris Evans has a solution to this problem.
Evans, most famous for his role as Captain America, as he wrapped up his portrayal of the character in Avengers: Endgame in April of last year, has launched a new civic engagement platform that he hopes will attract audiences to engage and educate themselves on a variety of issues.
In a post shared on Instagram and Twitter on July 14, the actor urged his followers to check out the site and expressed his excitement at the launch of the platform. “After two years of work I’m SO excited to finally launch ASP!” he wrote. In the accompanying video, he discussed the site’s goals and the reason behind his inclusion of elected officials on the website. “We hope it can create a little more connectivity between elected officials and their constituents, and maybe demystify some issues that people may find daunting.”
“An engaged electorate will create a government that more accurately reflects who we are and what we need,” Evans said.
The original idea – ‘A Starting Point’
The idea sparked in Chris Evans’ mind back in 2017, which he discussed in depth in the video on A Starting Point’s homepage. “I was watching the news and there was something I didn’t understand, so I went to Google it, and right away I was in the weeds,” he said. “There was just this mountain of information to sift through, and I thought, what if there was a way that I could get not only concise answers to common questions but get the answers from the elected officials themselves?”
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Today’s the day!!!! After two years of work I’m SO excited to finally launch ASP! 😬🤮
Our panel w @FastCompany goes up in a couple hours. Hopefully we answer any questions you might have! @MarkKassen @JoeKiani @MiaCharity @ASP #AStartingPoint pic.twitter.com/NFnPFC5UgI
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) July 14, 2020
This was what initially spurred his interest in creating an unbiased informative site that would go on to combine the knowledge of political figures in a way that is not time-consuming or difficult to comprehend. After initial setbacks including an original lack of interest and trust in an idea from a Hollywood actor, as many officials even at first thought that it was some sort of joke or spoof, Evans and his team continued to meet with government officials who eventually came around to the idea and agreed to lend their voice to become a part of the platform.
What is ASP?
As expressed on the site, A Starting Point is a video-based civic engagement platform with a mission “to create a bipartisan channel of communication and connectivity between Americans and their elected officials with the goal of creating a more informed electorate.” Along with Chris Evans, fellow actor Mark Kassen and technology entrepreneur Joe Kiani are the co-founders of the platform and worked on the site for two years in collaboration with Fast Company before it finally came to fruition.
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- The site is broken down into three sections the first of which is appropriately titled “Starting Points” and features succinct and easily digestible answers to commonly asked questions under a series of categories such as economy, education, environment, government, health, immigration, international, and rights.
- For each category, elected officials could choose to respond to any of the broad series of questions that they were offered, and the subsequent under two-minute responses are available to click on under each question.
- Each question displays a spectrum of opinions through short videos from both Democratic and Republican officials for a two-sided offering of answers, and the contributors additionally have the chance to attach links for further information on the issues. Through that feature, viewers are encouraged to move on from this “starting point” and in turn delve into any particular issue at a more advanced level.
- A second section, “Daily Points,” gives elected officials the ability to upload 60-second videos and discuss whatever issue they choose in an open forum. According to Evans, the first section “informs” while this second section “connects,” as this space, in particular, was designed for the representatives to be able to speak on matters that are specific to their districts.
- Section three, called “Counterpoints” features back-and-forth discussions on specific questions between two members of opposing parties as means of spotlighting questions on a focused individual level, as opposed to large scale debates that would only allow for such questions to be touched upon briefly. Throughout the site, new topics and questions will be added continuously, with contributors being allowed to add new one-minute discussion videos whenever they would like.
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“My hope is that we can become synonymous with an unbiased presentation of what is going on in Washington,” Evans said in A Starting Point’s introductory video. “The goal is to present this information as best we can without tipping the scales. To make sure voters understand the issues clearly, and that their voices can be heard.”
“Endgame” of ASP
A Starting Point strives for people to be able to learn about and understand political matters that they find relevant and important while preventing them from being otherwise intimidated by the constant flood of news that can be tricky to navigate. It is also a determined effort to increase participation in politics, especially with the 2020 presidential election rounding the corner, where the weight of the outcome of our country rests on people whose opinions and knowledge base may lie in vastly different ranges. The site provides resources for Americans to make informed voting decisions and ensure that their voices are heard in upcoming elections, in order to hopefully lead to reconstructing a government that reflects the values and ideas that are representative of the country’s entire population, as long as people do indeed take the crucial step of voting.
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“We live in a country of 300 million-plus people, I think roughly only 60 percent of the people voted [in the last election],” Chris Evans said in a video discussion with Fast Company. “In my opinion, you’re going to have a hard time creating a government that accurately reflects who we are as a nation with those types of numbers.”
His efforts to get Americans engaged in political issues and inform the voting public for the ultimate good of our country is very Captain America-esque, and while his time in that role has come to an end, it is nice to know that the actor has our future in his best interests.
“Given everything that’s going on in the world, more engagement in politics is always a good thing,” Evans told People. “It will only help the government work better for us, and better represent who we really are.”
Best of luck Chris! We, at Hollywood Insider, are incredibly proud of you for utilizing your platform to make the world a better place and will continue to support ‘A Staring Point’. Our media network Hollywood Insider and our set of values and mission statement is fully against disinformation as it continues to be lethally damaging and your initiative might just save the world with correct information alone. Thank you for your humanity.
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