Even if you read several papers and get breaking news alerts on your iPhone, it can be very difficult to keep track of what is really going on in DC beyond the headlines. This is especially true for low-profile, yet high-impact legislation and rule-making.
To assist in citizen efforts to keep plugged-in, the Sunlight Foundation/ProPublica has launched a service with IFTTT (which stands for IF This, Then That) that provides notice (through such services as email, SMS or Telegram) when some key things happen in Washington — for instance, when President Trump signs a bill into law, or when a bill is introduced that covers something you’re interested in.
IFTTT lets non-coders create small “applets” that connect web services and devices. The ProPublica applets are now part of ProPublica’s IFTTT channel (if link does not work, paste the following into your browser: https://ifttt.com/propublica).
What can you do with them? Examples of the applets real-world power include some critical notice functions:
- When President Trump signs a bill into law.
- When a new bill is introduced that matches a search term you provide.
- The House or Senate schedules a bill for consideration.
- A new lawmaker representing you enters Congress.
In addition, you can set up applets to not only receive notice, but also to automatically post info about legislation on your Twitter account; create spreadsheets with bill and voting info; and to place events on your personal or work calendar.
Click on an applet card and link your services.
It's powerful stuff for an informed citizenry.