Must-Have Mobile Apps: Congress by Sunlight Foundation

Cut through the political clutter and see your elected representatives for what they do, not what they say.

Instead of relying on news media outlets or political watchdogs to keep an eye on your elected leaders, why not do so from the comfort and convenience of your own phone?

Congress, a free app for iOS and Android, is a legislative watchdog that fits in your pocket. Created by the nonprofit Sunlight Foundation, whose self-described goal is to utilize “the power of the Internet to catalyze greater government openness and transparency,” the app includes bios of every member of Congress and maps of their jurisdictions, as well as access to their voting history, social media accounts and an option to call or email the legislator directly.

Users can follow specific legislators to keep informed on how their home jurisdiction is authoring and voting on legislation, past and present. Users can view bills specifically or monitor legislation by House, Senate or by state. They can also opt to “follow” a particular bill to keep tabs on its progress.

The app even provides access to the schedules for congressional hearings, committee and subcommittee meetings. As thorough as it is, Congress is still presented in a simple, navigable format, making it a useful tool for anyone from the casually curious to religious C-SPAN viewers.

Here’s a video that shows how it works and why it’s important!