This past April, a gun-control measure reportedly supported by 90% of the country was killed on the senate floor. There are many reasons to explain this outcome, but one of the simplest is that the congressional votes weren’t there. Those surprised by the outcome would perhaps be more so, however, if they monitored the social media accounts of the senators who were voting.
In partnership with Sandy Hook Promise, a group of community members from Newtown, Connecticut, Words & Votes is a recently launched interactive data visualization site, built around gun control legislation. Created by digital agency R/GA, the new site mines two data sets to paint a picture of what senators are saying versus how they’re voting. It’s a modern measure of accountability and transparency, focused on a subject that truly matters.
On one end, Words & Votes compiles legislative information on laws and bills related to firearms from 1999 to 2013, and on the other, it aggregates thousands of tweets from the official Twitter accounts of members of Congress. Users can take a look at votes for gun control and votes for gun rights, either as they relate to active bills or as they pertain to past legislation that has been signed into law.
Additionally, the site provides contact information for local representatives and encourages users to ask them to make the Sandy Hook Promise:
"I Promise to honor the 26 lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
I Promise to do everything I can to encourage and support common-sense solutions that make my community and our country safer from similar acts of violence."
Have a look through some of the data in the slide show above.