New Database Provides New Yorkers Quick Answers to “Who Represents Me?”

New Yorkers at every location in the city can now find the names and contact information of all their elected officials by using only one online location: www.MyGovNYC.org. This vital interactive “Who Represents Me?” database, which is accessible on any device, has been provided through a partnership between the Graduate Center, CUNY, and the League of Women Voters of New York City. Civic organizations across the political spectrum, as well as individuals throughout the city, and elected officials themselves are expected to benefit from it.

“Who Represents Me is up-to-date, flexible, and easily accessible from desktop computers, mobile phones, and tablets," said Steven Romalewski, director of the Mapping Service at the Graduate Center, who developed the service. "Even if you knew your districts before redistricting, you can now easily find your new districts and their exact boundaries." A similar service that Romalewski helped launch a decade ago proved to be extremely helpful to labor unions, neighborhood associations, service agencies, and civic groups.

Anyone can enter a street address at the “Who Represents Me?” website, or if you are using a mobile device, you can tap the “Use My Current Location” link. The site displays a list of all your federal, state, and city elected representatives, including your NYC Community Board chairperson, an interactive map of your district and all districts nearby, contact information for your local offices, and links for more information such as email addresses, individual websites, Twitter feeds, and Facebook pages of your elected officials. Moreover, a comprehensive interactive map at the site shows all the districts representing an area, and people can use the map to select nearby locations.

The “Who Represents Me?” service can be easily embedded directly into other websites, enabling individuals and groups to widely share the service and effectively make it their own. Users can also create a custom link that immediately displays the list of elected officials for their respective locations, such as http://bit.ly/1141MhZ.

“Who Represents Me?” will be updated regularly through the League’s ongoing effort to maintain current data on elected officials across the city. The service is provided as a supplement to the League's “They Represent You” printed guide, available at www.lwvnyc.org. Voters may also read information about candidates on the League’s interactive voter guide, www.VOTE411.org. Both links are available at the “Who Represents Me?” site.

This enormously useful, informative, and long overdue service is made available in part through support from the New York Community Trust. It integrates data from the New York State redistricting task force (LATFOR), NYC Department of City Planning's Bytes of the Big Apple project, the Sunlight Foundation, and cartoDB.

Submitted on: JUN 12, 2013

Category: Center for Urban Research, General GC News