Below is a rough proof of concept for a web app that displays how Oakland City Councilmembers voted on legislative items that came before them.
During this year’s National Day of Civic Hacking, I hosted one of several sessions OpenOakland hosted across Oakland. I’ve always had interest in making it easier for people like myself who are glued to city business through #oakmtg or other channels to see how the council voted on particular items. The volume of items that come before the council during any given meeting makes it difficult to track every item as well. So I built the below prototype this past weekend as a test to see how easily this data could be retrieved, cleaned, coded, and displayed.
Of course, the data for this current iteration of the app was manually inputted, since I don’t have access to the Grancius API as of yet (that is the company that hosts legislative data for Oakland). With the help of Mollie Cohen Rosenthal and Tiffany Lew, we gathered data on legislative items and votes for the current council (basically Jan. 2015 to now). The legislative items are tagged by sponsor, type of legislation, and unique item identifier.
Ultimately, it would be awesome to:
- Automate the data process
- Track upcoming agenda items for civic education before a vote
- Track committee votes
- Build an integrated app that easily allows for searching and filtering of legislative data
- Track councilmember voting patterns
- Link this data to the Open Disclosure project, which I’m also involved