One of the earliest civics lessons we teach our students is that voicing their opinions about local, state, and national issues is both an opportunity and a responsibility. While citizens must be 18 to vote, there are many ways they can make their voices be heard; witness the Occupy Wall Street movement now entering its fourth month across the country.
But short of camping out, students can write to or call their elected officials about issues that are important to them. Fortunately for them (and for us), the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) has just released an app with access to information on the members of the 112th Congress. Profile information is browsable by name, state, chamber, and party and includes a photo of the person, party affiliation, home state, and information on their service. The app, Mobile Member Guide for the 112th Congress, is free and can be downloaded onto an iPad or iPhone (iOS 4.3.3 or higher) and Android (2.1 or higher) and Blackberry (6.0 or higher) devices. Follow this link to a QR code to access the guide. We’ll have to let the GPO know that for the 113th Congress directory, direct access to email addresses would also be useful.