Describe how citizens can monitor and influence local, state and national government as individuals and members of interests groups.


Congressional members are increasingly using social media to communicate with constituents. 80 percent of the members of the 112th Congress have linked their Facebook or Twitter pages to their congressional website, according to a 2011 study from the Congressional Management Foundation.

Barack Obama at Twitter Town Hall in July 2011
Barack Obama at Twitter Town Hall in July 2011

Multimedia.pngClick here for a visualization of the Facebook and Twitter networks of selected Massachusetts political figures.


Visit Facebook on Congress to review how Congressional members are using social media.

external image Reports.gifHow People Get Local News and Information in Different Communities from the Pew Internet & American Life Project (September 2012) reports that Americans in all sections of the society have a strong interest in news and public affairs, but they gain that information in different ways:
  • Urban Residents tend to get news and information from a range of digital resources, including Internet searches, blogs, Twitter and television station and newspaper websites.
  • Suburban Residents rely more on radio and television for breaking news and the weather.
  • Small Town and Rural Residents use more traditional media such as newspapers and television.


Massachusetts_state_seal.pngTo examine the votes of members of the Massachusetts House and Senate, see 2011-2012 Roll Call Votes from the organization Progressive Massachusetts. This site shows whether a legislator took a progressive or non-progressive position on a issue up for vote.


Click here to learn about the Citizens' Initiative Review Commission(CIRC) in Oregon. Funded by contributions from charitable organizations and individual donors, this organization consists of a group of voters who examine statewide ballot measures, consider the merits of the proposals, and prepare and publish a “citizens’ statement” highlighting their findings. The state publishes this review in an official voter information pamphlet that is mailed to every voting household before an election.