Inspiration

With the recent inaction of politicians towards the Parkland shooting and other mass shootings, we felt motivated to take on the challenge to make the general public more aware of politicians' stances on legislation and to hold these politicians accountable.

What it does

The Messenger bot creates an active engagement between citizens and facts about legislation and policy makers. It allows for individuals to see specific policies that politicians are engaging in and how their own beliefs compare to the people representing them. Furthermore, it can show a comparison of politicians to see how different representatives stack up against each other.

How we built it

The backend of the app uses wit.ai for natural language processing to allow for a seamless understanding of what the end user is speaking. We used the Messenger API and Facebook Developers Portal to construct the page for the Messenger bot. Specifically, we used Javascript for the bulk of the programming and used Node for the running of the server. Ngrok integrates by providing a callback URL for Facebook to access.

Challenges we ran into

Our original idea for the hackathon was completely different than our final product. Given the time constraint, we struggled to integrate all parts. Moreover, the API was giving us difficulty and took some time to resolve.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We're proud of the overall product and the ideas and thought process we went through. The impact of our product has the potential to change we view the political climate.

What we learned

We learned about specific packages and how to integrate them with a Messenger Bot. Also, it was cool to learn about how we can engage political ideas within our app.

What's next for United Politics

We hope to expand the functioning of the app and make it possible to go beyond just Messenger.

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