Use a variety of sources, including newspapers and internet web sites, to identify current state and local legislative issues and examine the influence on the legislative process of political parties, interest groups, grass roots organizations, lobbyists, public opinion, the news media, and individual voters.

Multimedia.pngJournalism's Voyage West: Visualizing U. S. Newspapers, 1690-2011from the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University plots the rise and decline of over 140,000 newspapers published over three centuries in the United States.

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Contact your federal representatives directly using these guides and links. Information below is provided by the World Future Fund and its Citizen Education Guide.
  • WFF Guide to the U.S. Government
  • Access the The United States Senate via this link. Click on the state of your residence to get in touch with the office of your senator.
  • Visit the web site of the The U.S. House Of Representatives. Enter the zip code of your residence in order to locate your representative.
  • Voice your concerns to the President of the United States and offices of the Executive Branch via these links: The White House and Offices of the Executive Branch.
  • - In addition to providing a clearinghouse of information on local and state governments, as well as on Congressional activity, this site includes direct links to the web sites and telephone numbers of specific Congress members. When you enter your zip code, a profile of your Congressperson or Senator will come up. This profile provides information that will allow you to contact your elected official. At the bottom of each profile page is a list of the Congressional committees on which that official sits. This enables you to contact your elected official if he or she sits on a committee that is dealing with the issue you think is important. Via this site you also can follow the votes cast by your representatives or learn how to write a letter to your Congressional representative.
  • Project Vote Smart - Project Vote Smart is a "citizen's organization dedicated to informing American citizens where elected officials and candidates for political office stand on the issues. Like, Project Vote Smart provides information about which elected officials sit on which Congressional Committees. You must enter your zip code in nine-digit form (xxxxx-xxxx) in order to find your representative. A list of the committees on which that representative sits is available toward the top of each profile. The voting records, biographical information, and contact information of those officials are included Project Vote Smart allows users of their site to enter their zip code on the home page to find their senator or representative.
  • Politics - This site offers a comprehensive subject by subject guide to political issues in the U.S. In addition, Politics 1 supplies links to the web sites of American political parties.
  • Democracy Net - Democracy Net is a project of the League of Women Voters. It is a non-partisan resource that enables citizens to understand where their representatives stand on a variety of political issues. Users of the web site can access current and past ballot initiatives, register to vote, and see a schedule of what issues are coming up for votes in Congress. By entering your zip code on Democracy Net, you can see what ballot initiatives are planned in your Congressional district.