House launches a public-facing phone directory for all staff
This is a tremendously useful tool. It provides authentic, up-to-date information on the people who work in the people’s house. While it (reasonably) does not contain email addresses, it has phone numbers, titles and lots of other useful information about staff. It also will empower future analyses around employment in the House of Representatives, including discussions of legislative capacity and staff retention.
Until now, this information was only available through private vendors–for a fee–so the launch of the phone book amounts to a democratization of information about our elected representatives.
Using responsive design so that it works on mobile devices, the phone directory allows anyone to obtain phone numbers and address information for any House staffer via a cleverly designed interface. You can sort by member office, committee or search for a particular staffer.
It’s also possible to download the underlying data set, whether as a CSV or PDF. This may save the House money on printing directories and provide more up-to-date information, particularly as staff move around all the time.
The website was built by the clerk and is extensible, so it may become possible to include the staff issue areas at a future date.