Actively Engaged Democracy is the brainchild of Brian Burychka. After getting involved with politics in 2017, he quickly noticed serious lack of cohesiveness and collaboration in communities. The political parties seemed to focus on the short term goal of winning this next election so each party can grab power before the other party can get it. As a result, there was no focus on community building or long term planning, but rather political wrangling.
That same year, after researching for a civics project for his classes about the branches of government at all levels and the elected officials in each one, he found it extremely difficult to find comprehensive information. In other words, to become informed about all our government, it is nearly impossible without making it a full time job. In addition, he noticed that textbooks generally focus on the federal level (White House, Supreme Court, and Congress) and devote very little to the state and local levels. As a result, students become disconnected from the material they are learning because they have a difficult time understanding how it impacts their daily lives.
Current digital technologies are very limited in focus (only addressing a specific aspect or level of government) or simply designed to elicit clicks. Frustrated with the inability to find a comprehensive platform and realizing that this was contributing to low rates of involvement in our democratic process, Brian began designing his own platform. By 2018, he was able to secure some funds to begin the process of building the platform by hiring a programmer.
Brian Burychka has been teaching high school social studies for 25 years which includes specific courses in government, economics, American history, World War 2, and sociology. He earned his bachelor's degree in history from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA. He holds two master’s degrees, one in Educational Technology from Wilkes University and an MBA from Western International University.