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There's an app called Congress. I just started using it, but it seems great. You can follow certain people to see how they vote or what bills they introduce. You can look up specific bills and it gives you a link to their content. Pretty good so far.
Additionally, the Congress app is an open-source app developed by the Sunlight Foundation that lets you see what's actually going on in Congress and you can even subscribe to your local congresscritters.
There's also an app if you have Android (don't know about iOS, but probably an equivalent there too) that lets you look up exactly who all your senators and representatives are, and that has an actual call button right on each of their pages. Don't give up the ship!
I didn't want anyone to think I'm advertising, I personally use congress. You can follow, people, bills, and major categories.
I have an app on my android (not sure if it's available for Apple phones) called Congress. It lets you track current bills in the House and Senate realtime. Also lets you follow Congress members to see how they voted on bills. I've found it really useful for staying updated on what Congress is actually doing.
Congress does a lot to track.
If you have an Android phone, try this app:
It really is pretty great! But, so many little things happen you'd have a book on each rep by the end of the year.
Also, just about everything Congress does (in Congress) is public record and available on the www.congress.gov website within minutes usually.
There's also a good Android app called Congress that lets you search for (or use your phone's location to find for you) your representatives, and the numbers to their offices.
There's a great app on Android called, simply Congress. It's great, but only contains data for national reps. I'd love to see the same functionality but for my state and local government. If I had an easy way to track what my local people had voted for and then quickly contact them, it'd be great.
I think it is all about learning to understand how the political system works, reading what the laws that are being passed, who voted for the law etc.
When you do that, it is much harder to fool the voter.
And anyone can do that, but an educated person is more likely to do it, as the work is similar to what one was required to do when writing an essay etc.
But anyway there are apps that make it easier for everyone, for example: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sunlightlabs.android.congress
About fooling the voter. If you look at the bills that current Republicans produce they don't seem to do anything to improve your life, quite the opposite. They use media to make republican success look like your success, but if you actually look what the bill is doing, at best it is doing something you don't care about at worst it is doing something that you likely won't like.
I actually started as a Republican, because my father is one, and progressively it got worse, especially during trump.
This doesn't let you directly contact them from the app but it has an option to call them and also gives you their website where you can find other contact info.
I found "Congress" to be pretty straightforward. There isn't much fluff, nor opinion to it. I always find interest reading the text of the bills and trying to interpret them.
I enjoy craigslist and reddit's classic sites and their ilk.. so..
I'm not sure about iPhones, but there's an awesome Congress app on the Google Play Store that lets you track everything:
Here's a screenshot of this:
How exactly do we want to take a bill or action, and say that it does or does not represent a user's views? Are we simply going to let the user read the text of the bill and say, yes I would vote for that, no I would not vote for that? From what I see, no one wants to read the text of the bills as it is currently. If you are simply presenting the bill, as is, I'm not sure how many people will be using our app. Not a lot of people want to sift through the legal mumbo jumbo to figure out what they are reading, other than maybe people who are actually interested in politics.
If we can break something down into an easy to digest interpretation, we might be able to get people to become more interested in the actual content of the bill. That involves a bit of bias, but I think otherwise we are just re-inventing the wheel.
I personally do not favor the scoring approach. I prefer to show some kind of scale of where a politician lies on an issue, and give the user the ability to match that up with their views (possibly by quizzing the user about their views).
Otherwise, I can't see how what we are making is too much different from the Congress app made by the Sunlight foundation.
Every election I try to spend at least a couple hours learning about who's on the ballot. My first resource is an app called Congress. I'm sure there's an iOS and website equivalent, but basically it shows everyone's voting history, what bills they've put forth, and what committees they're on.
Then I do some basic research of who they are and where they're from, typically on Wikipedia or some site that isn't sensationalizing anything that they've done. I honestly feel like that's enough due diligence for your average citizen.
I don't vote always vote all blue, like I used to vote all red, but it's definitely changed drastically. I used to think I knew those people I kept voting back in. These politicians can talk all they want, but if their voting record is not up to par, I vote them out.
There's a great android app I use called, appropriately enough, Congress.
Let's you search by Bill number, partial name, Congressman, you can narrow to House or Senate, etc.
And favorite the ones you like and follow their sponsors, committees, movement, whatever.
On mobile so sorry for poor formatting.
I use the Congress phone app from the Sunlight foundation. It lets you follow bills and people in Congress. It also has a nifty schedule so you can see what's on the agenda when. I think this is only for the Congress floor, I don't think you get anything related to things in committee.
Check out "Congress" It's not as user friendly but under options, top right, links directly to the bills text when/where available.
There's an app on Android called Congress which just let's you follow any representatives and what they've voted on in the past.
There's an android app called Congress which is similar. It also allows you to track your congressmen and get notifications about events relating to certain bills or people.
I just wanted to add a few things to this. You can know the policies that each candidate are pushing for. And learn what every member of Congress has voted on since they were elected. (Android app)
>The ability to "follow" representatives and get push notifications/emails when they vote
There's an app for that for Android:
There are apps out here that do some of this:
Congress App is a great tool to track and contact your state legislators.
Edit: removing the embedding of the hyperlink.
For Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sunlightlabs.android.congress
No idea about iOS
This app is kickass: Congress app
The mobile app for Android and iPhone.
^ if you want to understand our concerns about this a little better - short read.
^ if you need to look up the last four of your zip code - a lot of contact forms for congressmen require it.
^ link to the bill, if needed. Specifically those who are cosponsors. Yes, I'd recommend still contact your rep even if they aren't listed.
^ link to download Android "Congress" app. Makes it super easy to contact your reps and see what they're up to. There doesn't appear to be an IOS equivalent from this developer.
^ link to find your reps are.
To anyone not knowledgeable who may find this comment in the future
This is kinda along those lines... https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sunlightlabs.android.congress
it's an app
In short: we don't.
Bills that go through Congress are too convoluted for the average person to understand. I believe this is intentional-they do it so people don't pay close attention. They're hundreds if not thousands of lines of strike-this and insert-that language. And they're usually amended the hell out of in committees so that they have little to do with their original purpose. For example, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was actually introduced to the House of Representatives as the Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act-a bill that had nothing to do with healthcare until it was amended a mind-numbing 506 times within 60 days.
For those that do try to follow things the only two resources I know of are congress.gov and Sunlight Foundation's Congress app.
I wish you luck in your research.
Congress is a really useful app.
There is OpenCongress' app. I've never used it though:
Congress (for android)
They've yet to impliment the zombie warnings properly though.
I used to have an app on my phone that would notify me of activities in Congress. I can't remember the name of it, but it would let me know when bills were in session and voted on and give me details on my members of congress. So I know there are some apps out there of this nature.
Edit: here are some similar apps for Android
Keep on top of Congress.
Answers to common questions:
Finally, this app is proudly open source:
TrackBill is a simple yet robust platform empowering government affairs professionals to search, track, and report on legislation in all 50 states and the US Congress. Corporations, professional service firms, and interest groups alike rely on TrackBill to spend less time tracking legislation and more time impacting the outcome.
• Search for bills, committees, and legislators.
• Monitor bill introductions and amendments.
• Receive real-time alerts on new actions.
• View a personalized hearing schedule.
• Create professional reports in seconds.
• Access on-the-go with mobile integration.
Yeah, it takes some work, but it's not that hard. These tools can easily set up alerts tracking keywords or geographic areas. They can be used on smartphone apps, like Sunlight Foundation's Congress. They can be remixed into tools like Sunlight Foundation's Scout.
In the olden days, these records were almost totally publicly inaccessible. The internet opened huge doors. Even then, though, direct political action has never been as easy as today, whether by emailing or calling representatives or volunteering some time for a local or state politician, or cause or non-profit, which one may support.
It has always been hard to keep up with everything government does. It does a lot; that's why we have representative government rather than direct democracy. I don't know how much easier this can or should be. Do we demand people literally coming into our homes every day with a personalized rundown of everything being voted on that effects us from a federal to local level?
If a grocery store bagger cares, they can put a couple hours a week into following issues they care about and/or advocating on important issues and political causes. Most people have a few free hours a week.