Accessible data for curious people.

The goal of this site is to demystify data collection and political processes by showing you step-by-step instructions to download and analyze nonpartisan, public information. 

For us to be an attentive (and affective) public we must be armed with information and facts. We have a responsibility to combat misinformation, educate ourselves, and those around us. So let’s get to work. Welcome, and happy exploring!

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So why “Attentive Public”?

Political scientist Douglas Arnold argued there are two types of Americans: the “attentive” and the “inattentive” publics. “Attentive publics are those citizens who are aware that a specific issue is on the congressional agenda, know what alternatives are under consideration, and have relatively firm preferences about what Congress should do” (Arnold 1990).

He goes on to write that an attentive public is much better at holding elected officials accountable, and thus, elected officials are required to listen to them. But he also notes, in order for an attentive public to be effective, they must have access to information and they must effectively communicate priorities to their representatives.

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