Intended to create a “more open, visible and participatory legislative process ,” Citizen CoSponsor allow you to follow legislation you’re interested in, giving you “first-hand information and updates on the status of the bill as it moves through the legislative process.”
One of the greatest contributions the Internet has made to democratic societies like ours is the ability to participate in the legislative process like never before. Now you can not only research legislation for yourself, but you can also send your elected representatives letters voicing your opinion on that legislation without ever having to leave your house.
However, one thing has been sort of lacking: the ability to track and receive regualr updates on the status of legislation that matters most to you. Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) is looking to change all that with the launch of the Citizen CoSponsor Project. Citizen CoSponsor is a Facebook app that lets you “cosponsor” legislation so that you can track it as it winds its way through the legislative process, getting updates and first-hand information along the way.
“This is a dynamic communications platform that creates a more open, visible and participatory legislative process,” reads the project’s site. “Built on Facebook’s Open Graph, Citizen CoSponsor will enable the American people to follow legislation that they are interested in. In turn, they will receive first-hand information and updates on the status of the bill as it moves through the legislative process.”
To get started the first thing you do is log in with you Facebook account.
Then you choose from the list of “Bills to Cosponsor.” Before you decide if you want to be involved with a bill you can read the entire text of the legislation for yourself and make an informed decision.
Here I’ve decided to cosponsor the “Home for Heroes Act.”
Once I’ve done that it automatically posts a status update sharing with others my newfound political cause, and providing them a link to learn more about for themselves. You’re also given an embed code and other options with which to share.
Now you’ll be able to stay up to date on the progress of the bill.
The only downside is that it seems to be largely Republican-introduced legislation. It needs to have a healthy balance of bills from the two parties (and maybe even independents) to be a meaningful tool for individuals to get more involved.
What do you think? Will you use the CoSponsor Project app? Let me know in the comments section below.
[email protected] | @jaredmoya