The Google Chrome tabs community project has ended and has raised 60,599,541 tabs for charity in 2010. I participated this year and was happy to have contributed to the books that will be donated to schools and libraries across Asia and Africa.
If you did not get a chance to participate this year, keep a look out for next years project and make sure to get involved.
I came across a fantastic app yesterday on the Android Marketplace. The app is simply called Congress and it lets you see what bills are being presented to congress and by what senator. You can search by the latest votes to see if a bill has passed the house or senate, search by Just introduced to see the latest bills that require a vote and search by the new bills that have just become law. Each result has a summary of what the bill proposes and who sponsored it.
One section of the app lets you search for your local representative to see what bills they have sponsored, any new about them, and it also contains contact information so you can call your representative directly, visit their website or see what committees they are a part of.
I spent a couple of hours last night just browsing my local representatives and was amazed at the amount of fluff that gets crafted and put before congress for a vote. A resolution to designate April 2010 as Notational STD awareness month? Come on. Don’t we have more important things to be spending our time on? Housing, mortgages, the economy, the war.
You can get the app from the guys over at SunLight Labs or via the Android Marketplace from you phone. Although SunLight Labs has wrapped all the data up nicely for us, you don’t need the app to get all this information. The bill data comes from www.govtrack.us so anyone can keep tabs on what are elected officials are working on or in many cases, not working on. Another interesting site is www.usaspending.gov which aggregates the data on federal spending for grants and contracts.
We don’t need to be passive when it comes to our elected officials. There is lots of data out there freely available to help you cast you next vote come election day. And you do vote, right?