What is ContactDemocracy?
ContactDemocracy is a website that's designed to make it so easy to call your elected officials about issues that matter to you, you almost can't avoid doing it. Just select your location, and ContactDemocracy will generate contact information for all your elected officials, and offer to add it to your device's contacts app. Then, whenever you want to contact them, just tap/click on the contact in your device's contacts app!
Why should I use it?
Once your elected officials are in your contacts app, the activation energy for calling, e-mailing, writing, or otherwise contacting them will be much lower. Our democracy only works when the citizenry is engaged. One aspect of engagement is communicating with elected officials. If you don't talk to them, then the only voices in their ear will be people/corporations with a lot of money.
Is this for the USA only?
Yep, sorry. At least for now.
Where does the data come from? Is it accurate?
It comes from the Google Civic Information API, which is an amazingly comprehensive source. I certainly hope it's accurate, but I have no idea how Google gets all this information. Maybe they Google it? ContactDemocracy originally used the Sunlight Foundation for this data, but while excellent, they only supply information on state and US legislators, whereas Google Civic Information also provides executive branch officials, and a fair number of local officials as well.
The contacts file isn't recognized by my device. What should I do?
Sorry about that! I'd recommend trying it again with a different web browser. You can also try e-mailing the downloaded contacts file to yourself, then opening it from your device's e-mail program. Unfortunately the most common format for sharing contacts, the "vCard", or ".vcf" file, is sadly unstandardized, and interoperability between devices and platforms is pretty poor. Feel free to e-mail me, and I can try to make it work with your device when I get a chance.
What if I want to delete the contacts later?
Every contact will have the word "ContactDemocracy" in the "notes" field of the contact, so you should be able to search for that term in your contacts app and delete them all quickly.
Hey, not all of my local officials are in here, or their information is incorrect. What gives?
The data comes from Google Civic Information API. They aren't very clear about exactly what officials are included, but it seems to be county, state, and federal officials. Unfortunately, there don't seem to be any city-level officials in the database. They provide a form to submit an error report about their database. Feel free to use it yourself, or contact me.
Why doesn't ContactDemocracy automatically detect my location?
It does attempt to automatically detect your location, but if your device's security preferences are not set to allow it, then your browser won't even bother to ask you for permission to give your location. For example, to enable it for Safari on iOS 7, Go to
Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Safari Websites.
Will this install a virus on my device?
No. But that's what I would say if I WERE trying to get you to install a virus, so take that with a grain of salt.
How do I know you're not just handing my info over to the NSA or some bad actor?
I do use Google Analytics to report usage statistics, including whether or not you click the "donwload contacts" button, mostly because I'm curious. I do not record the address you type in (although your IP is recorded, which will give a general idea of your location, unless you are using a proxy server or another identity obscuring technology). Feel free to block Google Data Analytics. Since the creation of this site in 2017, we have received and complied with 0 (zero) government requests for information. Watch closesly for the removal of this notice.
Who are you?
I'm a physics teacher, a concerned citizen, and an amateur programmer.
This is great - how do I give you money?
Well gosh, thanks, but I'd rather you contribute to a worthy cause like the Southern Poverty Law Center, the ACLU, the Sunlight Foundation, or the like. However, I do pay a little money for the hosting service for ContactDemocracy, so I wouldn't say no to a buck or two. Thanks!.
Who helped you with this?
I got a lot of help with feedback and testing from Lissa Riley, Marsha Kardon, Fred Kardon, Hannah Riley, and Greg Barrett. Thanks folks!