Introducing Congrelate


I’ve been tweeting about this for quite some time, but I should announce it on the blog too. Check out Congrelate, another project of ours. Congrelate lets you view, sort, filter and share information about members of Congress. We’ve taken data from the Center for Responsive Politics, the Census, GovTrack and our own API and made it so you can create queries on that data and incorporate it into a big sheet. Of course, you can also export the data into CSV and JSON if you’d like, too.

If you’re interested in the healthcare bill going through congress right now, for instance, you’re easily able to create sheets that tell you how much money from the healthcare industry is going to the Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce and Education and Labor committees — the three committees building the House’s new healthcare legislation.

The whole project is open source, and you can find the source code on github. Congrelate is built on the ruby-based Sinatra framework, and like TransparencyCorps, was built by Eric with a lot of help from Luigi and design by Ali. Oh, and the video on the front page has great voice over work by yours truly.

Like the 50 State Project, we want to make this an opportunity for other developers to contribute to the project not only by adding new features and functionality, but also by adding new data sources. The project is well documented and we need new data in it. In particular some things on our wish list are:

  • The population of each district (which representative represents the most people?)
  • The number of votes each Member received in the last election
  • The percentage victory of each Member
  • That member’s most popular word/words (from the Capitol Words API)

Those are just off the top of my head. But like TransparencyCorps we view this as a platform that will continue to grow. Next week at OSCon we’ll be having a hackathon (starting on Wednesday and lasting through Friday) where we’ll be working with developers to add new data to Congrelate. Hope you can come out and help.

It should be noted that Congrelate is in alpha, and can be quite buggy. We’re making changes every day. So please let us know if you find any bugs by clicking the feedback link at the top of the Congrelate website. Also, a special thanks is in order to David Waldman who suggested the idea to us. Thanks David!