Description:

100 Words tells you who your legislators are, what they are all about, and helps you contact them. It calculates their 100 most unique words and turns it into a fun graphic. Click on their words to see exactly what they said in the Congressional record.

We believe the best way to solve political gridlock is by connecting more constituents to their legislators. If we don't know who they are and what they are saying, then we probably haven't made our voices heard. 100 Words provides an easy and fun way for regular folks to access the political debate. For Congresspeople, Lobbyists, and Reporters, it provides more advanced tools for searching and networking phrases by political party. The app updates daily, caching data for offline access and faster searches.

Features:

  • Search for Legislators - Lookup all current Senators, Representatives, and Delegates by name.
  • Find Local Legislators using your GPS coordinates. Click on their name to access their official photo, contact information, website and links to social media
  • View a Legislator's tag cloud - one click access to the 100 words a legislator uses most uniquely.
  • Search a Legislator's speeches for any word or phrase.
  • Network Legislators across political parties via any word or phrase. Find other representatives who use this word most often and most recently.
  • See the About section within the app for games you can play using your legislator's words!
  • Tweet any legislator's tag cloud along with the #100wordsgov hashtag and share your ideas for solving political gridlock.

Solving Gridlock:

For citizens: The political debate is currently dominated by the extreme voices. Only by connecting more constituents to their legislators can we temper the debate and generate new ideas. Your legislators want to hear what you think. Contact them now using 100 words.

For legislators: Use 100 words to research the positions of your peers across the aisle or between the Senate and the House. Find others who share your beliefs and gather insights on those who don't. Look for things you can agree on and use them in your negotiations.

Methodology:

We use TF-IDF which is a statistical measure of how "unique" a word is relative to a document collection. In plain English that means we highlight words this legislator says more than other legislators. Not necessarily the words they use the most, but the ones they use more than their peers. This creates a sort of "fingerprint" of a legislator's speech. If you want to see what we mean, compare Charles Rangel to John McCain. They obviously have very different interests. Our tag cloud algorithm draws the words from left to right, top to bottom ranked by TF-IDF. It picks a random font size for each word and then finds the first space this word will fit. This means that every time you rotate or redraw the tags you get a different graphic. Sometimes a smaller word from the bottom of the list will fit into a spot near the top so don't be surprised if you see something new. It's all meant to give you an easy way to consume the content and engage with your politicians.

Example:

The US Senate is working on a new immigration reform bill. Use 100 words to find your Senators, click on their name, and then search for the word "immigration." Read what they have to say on this topic. Then use the "Network Button" in the upper left to find the other legislators and see who has used this word the most and who has used it most recently. The red/blue dots signify Republican/Democrat so you can easily learn all sides of the issue. Next you can use 100 words to contact these Senators via email/web/twitter/facebook and even contact your Representative ahead of the House taking up their version of this bill.

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