On December 7, 2011, the Offices of Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer held the
first-ever Congressional Facebook Hackathon in the Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, DC.
The event brought together a bipartisan gathering of Members of Congress, Congressional staffers, Facebook engineers,
and software developers to explore the potential connections between legislative data, constituent correspondence, and social media.
The event began with updates on the new legislative data that the House has made available to the public, followed by updates on the Open Graph Protocol that Facebook announced at their F8 Developers Conference
. The bulk of the event was structured around four breakout discussion groups, each focusing on various areas of Congressional engagement with the public.
Following the event, Leader Cantor and Democratic Whip Hoyer issued a report
outlining the discussions held at the Congressional Facebook Hackathon.
Leader Cantor stated, "We are dedicated to making the activities of this Congress transparent, accessible and useful for people around the country. In order to accomplish that, it is clear that we must use technology to build stronger connections between constituents and their elected officials by incorporating social media into daily Congressional operations. This report is the start of a bipartisan conversation on how to achieve these critical institutional reforms and further the communication with the people we represent."
Democratic Whip Hoyer stated, "I am pleased that Congress is actively taking steps to update how it connects with the American people online, improve transparency and better interact with our constituents to keep them informed. There is still work to be done, but Democrats and Republicans alike understand the duty we share to make the legislative process as open and accessible as possible. This report continues the hard work of Members from both sides of the aisle in shaping how we can better connect the American people to their government in order to better serve them."
to read the Congressional Facebook Hackathon summary report