Sunlight Unveils House Staff Directory (in beta)
Today I’m pleased to announce the release of a House Staff Directory in beta version. It is no secret that congressional staff are the lifeblood of Congress, but identifying the best staffer to speak with about a particular issue is a daunting challenge. The directory empowers the public to better communicate with their elected representatives. In addition to legislative offices, the directory also includes staffers from offices that support House activities.
What makes the directory unique?
- It’s free.
- It’s a directory of all House employees, including those who provide legislative support to the functioning of Congress, with data no more than 6 months old.
- You can perform complex searches by staff title, political party, quarter or state and download that information into a spreadsheet.
- You can search over multiple quarters to see the employment trail for a particular staffer.
We drew all of our data from three public sources. (1) A list of addresses and phone numbers for each personal and committee office is published online by the House Clerk’s office. (2) Addresses and phone numbers for many miscellaneous House offices are made available in a PDF from the House Clerk. (3) Our list of House staff comes from the the House Statement of Disbursements, a quarterly document published by the Clerk that lists every penny spent in the House.
There are two major places where errors can creep in to this data. First of all, the raw data may be inaccurate. We have no control over the accuracy of information released by the House. Second, we put a lot of effort into cleaning up the raw text included in the House Statement of Disbursements. But we could have introduced errors. We also should note that the staff info could be up to six months out of date because of delays by the House in publication of the Statement of Disbursements. (We also truncated or standardized some titles to make it easier to compare apples to apples.)
This is a work in progress. Let us know if you have ideas of how to make the directory better. We have deliberately chosen not to include staff salary information (which is available from Legistorm) or to speculate on email addresses. Contact us here.