They Work For You

I’ve referred in the past to the wonderful websites They Work For You and Write To Them. Built by a group of volunteers, these sites provide search tools for Hansard (the British parliamentary record) that allow users to keep track of the activities of members of parliament, monitor the occurrence of topics in parliament, share comments on sections of the transcript, and then contact any of their elected representatives (at local, national, or european level) to initiate or continue discussions with them.

For the past few weeks I’ve been beginning to consider the possibility of similar tools for the United States. There are plenty of people working on tools to increase political engagement, and to begin to transform politics into a more participatory process. Particpatory Politics are a prime example, and so is the fantastic GovTrack. There are new tools such as Civic Space that are building tools for organising and managing campaigns (whether electoral or issue-based), and many 527s provide ways for their supporters to contact representatives. But so far as I can find, there isn’t anything that matches the facilities of the UK sites, or that places the tools in the hands of the general populace.

This post should be considered a call for participants. I’m beginning to pull together ideas on what might be involved in developing that US equivalent on this wiki. Ideas, feedback, participants, they’re all welcome…

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