After taking government class this year in high school, we realized that local politics were given little to no media attention and we rarely had a clue about how legislation was passed or what the purpose of that legislation even served. To bring more attention to this, we wanted to create a centralized information center where individuals (millennials and older people alike) could read and understand more about their local government systems.
What it does
Our app congregates data from different sources to allow for an easy and centralized data center to view local government legislation and information. On our home page we have strategically placed 5 main features: annual goals of your local government (city in demo), legislation, map for finding local ballot dropoffs, candidate information, and a news table view for headlines about your city.
How we built it
We built this application using Xcode and swift as our primary language. As for complex technologies, we used SwiftSoup to scrape the mercurynews website to get the latest 10 headlines and Kingfisher to display images on our tableviews. We used the built-in Mapkit in order to display the ballot drop off locations and UIKit for the easy to use interface and intuitive controls.
Challenges we ran into
Some of the main challenges we ran into was actually finding the data to put into our application. As we continued to build out features, we found ourselves scouring the internet for hours looking for the answers to questions like "What are the annual goals of my city's government" or "Who are the individuals on my city council and what are their backgrounds". These challenges would ultimately be solved by our app because of the centralization and easy to use interface that it provides. After this app is put on the app store, all the information will be just one click away.
What's next for RePublic
Crowdsource specific information about local elections globally Add functionality for county, state, and district elections Have senators and representatives edit so that information stays factually accurate Implement real time polling so individuals can stay informed of which way their legislation is favored
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