“We, the People…”: Government Resources

With President Obama’s State of the Union address last week, I decided to post in this week’s blog our top five government resources. Whether you’re a Political Science major/minor or not, it’s just as important to have a solid understanding of our government system. So heat up your favorite hot beverage and get ready to learn about a few great resources to help you stay informed of our political scene!

1.  Open Congress, http://www.opencongress.org/ 

“OpenCongress brings together official government data with news coverage, blog posts, public comments, and more to give you the real story behind what’s happening in Congress.”–opencongress.org

You can look up specific senators & representatives and view their voting record. You can see what topics (abortion, immigration, healthcare) are currently assigned to bills. Learn what congress members sit on which committees. And you can view which interest groups have provided funds to certain congress members.

2. American Presidency Project, http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ 

“Established in 1999 as a collaboration between John Woolley and Gerhard Peters at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The archives contain 88,932 documents related to the study of the Presidency.”–presidency.ucsb.edu

Wonder how President Obama’s State of the Union speech compares to George Washington’s? (Hint: One of them was the shortest in history.) This site offers thousands of documents from throughout history that originated in our executive branch of government.  Gain access to presidential proclamations, FDR’s Fireside Chats, JFK’s Inaugural Address, and more!

3. The White House, http://www.whitehouse.gov/
 

The latest news from the Obama administration. Visit the official White House website to watch President Obama’s weekly address, read about current initiatives, and learn the President’s & Vice President’s schedules for the week.

4. Warner Library’s Political Science LibGuide, http://libguides.eastern.edu/Political_Science 

Our library’s subject guide on political science not only includes many great resources on American politics, but it also addresses political theory, international politics, and the latest headlines in politics.

5. Congress.org, http://www.congress.org/ 

“Congress.org is a nonpartisan news and information Web site devoted to encouraging civic participation. Our mission is to provide information about public policy issues of the day and tips on effective advocacy so that citizens can make their voices heard. The heart of Congress.org is an award-winning software program that makes it easy for citizens to write their elected officials. Our software assures that your letter will be delivered directly to the decision-makers whose opinions you hope to influence.”–Congress.org

 

I can’t forget to mention a childhood classic- The School House Rock videos. Informative and fun, who doesn’t love to sing along about that bill just sitting on Capitol Hill…. Here’s a classic and one that’s very appropriate for my post on government resources: Three Ring Government. You can view all the School House Rock videos on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/SchoolHouseRockKids

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