Welcome to my site. I document  science, tech, education and other interesting stories. 

Phone Calls to Congress Are Likely at an All-time High


Ostensibly, phone calls to Congress are at an all-time high.  Using multiple lines of evidence we argue here that more phones are ringing in Congress than ever.   


Google Trends

The Google Trends tool allows one to compare the relative search interest in a term from the present day back through Jan 1 2004.  Using the query "Congress Phone Number", we see that over the aforementioned search history, 1/1/04-2/3/17, the term has seen the highest volume of searches in Jan of '17, followed by March of '04 and Feb '17.  The current political turmoil is the likely cause of the Jan and Feb '17 spike in calls

Apps for Calls

Applications like Countable make contacting your state and federal representatives simple and fast.  Download the app, read about a topic, and if you feel the need click the 'Take Action' button. Instantly, you are connected with the appropriate contact information; phone, email and even video message are in-app options.  In no small part, Countable and similar apps, have dramatically increased the volume of emails and phone calls received by your Reps, see here.  For example, B Sanders received more than 5,700 calls and 838 letters supporting his position on DeVos.

With hashtags and trends, twitter too has played a role with increased call volumes.  See here where a Feinstein staffer suggests that his phone, and soon his computer, will be overwhelmed by anti-Trump sentiment using the hashtag #Indivisible.   More, many groups have put out guidance on how to effectively use twitter to contact Reps, see here, here, and here.

However, the efficacy of twitter in getting the attention of your rep has recently been questioned.  Emily Ellsworth, a Congressional aide for 6 years, argues that phone calls are the best.

Trump in tweets

The Race-Income Gap is Black and White