Yesterday in a Twitter chat with Lynne Soraya (you can visit Lynne on Twitter or Facebook), several of us were discussing how to compile a directory of the US legislators involved with the Autism Speaks to Washington event. Many of us feel that Autism Speaks doesn’t speak for us and the directory is intended to make it easier for us to speak with legislators on our own behalf.
Unfortunately, nobody was able to find a directory of speakers or program listing during the chat. However I was able to locate the Autism Caucus membership roster posted on Representative Mike Doyle’s web site. I agreed to compile the contact info for all legislators on that roster.
Fortunately, I have some friends at NewGov.us who were able to provide an extract of their database for me. This and a little Perl scripting produced a nice, formatted directory of all members of the Autism Caucus as of November 13, 2013. Pick the version that is easiest for you to deal with:
I’m pretty sure I missed a couple names because Rep Doyle has 114 listed and I have 112 or so. I’ll go back and reconcile the list when I get a chance, but in the meantime if you find someone not there, please let me know through the web site here, tweet to @tdotrob or find me on Facebook. Also, if anyone has a link to the Autism Speaks event program or a list of legislators who spoke there, please also point me to that and I will update this roster.
In the course of getting the data to make the directory, I had a chance to see some of the upcoming features of NewGov.us. It is already useful, if perhaps a bit rough. However with the User Interface changes and new features that I saw, it promises to help citizens take back control of their government. The team there are busy building like crazy and hope to have the site ready for wider launch in a month or two. I will post about it when it’s ready and I hope you will try it out then. Until then, if you sign up and try it out they would love your feedback but remember it isn’t launched yet so be forgiving if you find anything broken. I have found the team there to be very responsive.
Let’s get some real autistic voices heard in Washington for a change.
Let’s let our autism speak for itself.