Inspiration

As first time voters, our team realized the effort needed to become informed voters, and so we aimed to make such information more accessible. Our web app aims to highlight the actions of incumbent politicians in their time in office to bring both awareness and accountability.

What it does

Given an address, we direct the user to their list of governing politicians, from which they will be able to view basic information of the politician along with the bills they endorsed. We also added a functionality to be able to search certain politicians and view the bills they introduced.

How we built it

We used the React JavaScript library in order to build our user interface, which allowed us to expedite the process of. creating our web app. We also wanted to eventually incorporate the element of categorizing bills and other information regarding a politicians policies/views through a Google Cloud AutoML model that we trained using a Congressional Bills database.

Challenges we ran into

We had difficulty with some of the mechanics of starting an application from scratch. Many of us had little no experience with Hackathons and with the languages/tools we were working with, so in order to complete our project, we had a steep learning curve to overcome. Collaborating online was difficult, but it was inspiring and fun to work with each other towards a goal.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are happy with the simplicity of our UI since the objective was to remove the obstacles and obscurity associated with becoming an informed voter.

What we learned

It was an extremely educational experience to conceive an idea and bring it to fruition. Working together was also rewarding since everyone brought unique skills and perspectives to the table, which all contributed to the development of a project that we would not have been able to produce on our own.

What's next for Poloctics

We would like to add more features such as better categorization and additional information regarding the history of politicians. Additionally, we would like to move from simply increasing accessibility towards increasing action by incorporating a form/address to which constituents would be able to directly contact their politicians regarding bills they believe strongly about. Another feature would be incorporating a database for state legislatures to also increase the ease of access to that information.

Additional YouTube demo, in case the one above does not work: https://youtu.be/fwjjapVINlk

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