ProPublica releases a polished version of its Represent database — a very comprehensive tool to track legislative action. 10 years in the making, the project was starting to age so the team decided to make it less cluttered & more useful.

The highlights:

  • a feed structure that provides a clear chronological view of each public stance from a representative or a State delegation.
  • a powerful search engine that covers pretty much everything a user could look for.
  • a focus on what Congressmen “say” (not only what they do) thanks to a “machine-learning analysis of press releases”.

The new “bill page” also does a fine job at demystifying the law-making process. And a personal favorite: the “Head to Head” feature which compares two representatives’ positions.

Plus: read this interesting post about the user-centered approach behind the project.

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