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post-launch changes

  • Add a Senate option to candidate's pledge

Changes needed to before launch

  • get rid of drop shadows on Change Congress logo
  • add beta tag
  • need to move pledge images to
  • need to make sure pledge embed, js, images, etc. code will work when we push site live
  • test JS code in IE
  • On the donate page, a mock up (not live) that gives people the option to support Change Congress


  • (3/12/2008) footer: cut "Change Congress,". We'll need to add a disclosure footer when we know what it is, but now, we should avoid gathering data except through the form
  • (3/12/2008) Change opening text to:
    Change Congress is a movement to build support for basic reform in how our government functions. 
    Using our tools, both candidates and citizens can pledge their support for basic changes that together 
    would reduce the distorting influence of money in Washington. Using the community that Change Congress 
    will help facilitate, we will link candidates committed to reform with volunteers and contributors who agree 
    with that reform. Read about the reasons behind each pledge here. Candidates and citizens can take the 
    pledge by clicking on the tab above. 
    Join us today, and help take our Congress back.
  • (3/12/2008) The sludge color needs to be blacker. That's a chocolate brown.
  • (3/12/2008) basic color/graphics: on Safari at least, the color of the Change Congress badge is different from the rest of the banner; there's a blue line above it. We've got to splurge to make sure you've got the right font so you can build the icons/graphics directly. And this needs to be cleaned to be as professionally presented as possible. (NOTE: I think this is fixed, but if it's not please send me a screenshot and browser info - jp)


  • Intro text: "On this page, citizens can get a badge to signal their own support for the Change Congress movement. Select the level of reform you support, and we'll give you code to put on your own website."
  • Options should be:
    "I believe in the following reform:"
    • Candidates should not accept contributions from registered lobbyists.
    • Candidates should not accept contributions from PACs
    • Candidates should support the abolition of "earmarks"
    • Candidates should support reform to increase transparency in Congress
    • Candidates should support the public financing of public elections
  • District verification: The user should be able to input his address, and we determine the congressional district from that. That data is then inserted in the metadata
  • User should have a radio button to select which badge he wants
  • Badge must link to a similar "Commons deed" but fit for a citizen
  • Ideally, also collect emails for this part too -- include with join us emails?
  1. Drop the h1
  2. Drop the lines
  3. Replace "Step 1 -" with a red-tinged "1."
  4. Replace "reform(s)" with "reforms"
  5. Float a live version of the badge to the left of the checkboxes
  6. Replace 'Verify Your Information\nLocate Your Congressional District" with just "Find Your District"
  7. Replace "Enter your Zipcode and we will locate your Congressional District:" with "Enter your zip code:"
  8. Align badges horizontally, not vertically
  9. remove the "generate embed code" button -- code should be updated live
  10. replace "Use the code below to embed the customized badge into your site." with "Copy the following HTML into your webpage:"
  11. end "Please enter your address and we will look it up." with a colon
  12. only need one badge image on the left, not all three
  13. i'd put the radio buttons centered under the badges rather than next to them
  14. Replace "I believe in the following reforms:" with "I believe candidates should:" and then remove "Candidates should" from the checkbox lines
  15. in button two, the red should go all the way to the left rather than being curved on both sides
  16. the size of the word "change" in the buttons should be adjusted to conform with the banner at the top
  17. only need one badge image on the right, not all three
  18. Replace "I believe in the following reforms:" with "I believe candidates should:" and then remove "Candidates should" from the checkbox lines
  19. box should be around "Your District", not "Enter your Zipcode"
  20. make spelling of "zipcode" consistent

--- 3/20/2008-asw:

  • top bar doesn't work
  • we should probably still cite the FEC and govtrack for the map
  • the font sizes for map pop-ups are broken
  • we need a note letting people know they can click on the map

aaron's comments:

  1. Replace "Citizen's Pledge" button on the top bar with "Citizens" and "Candidates" buttons
  2. Remove the space between buttons to decrease total width of page
  • /pledge should go to a real page, not a 404
  1. combine rep and district name into one box
  • should probably add a graf on trippi
  • Add a donation page mock up (not live) that gives people the option of pledging. The inputs should be: (1) they select which elements of reform they want to support; (2) they indicate how much they'll give per month to such candidates; (3) they indicate how many candidates.
  • There needs to be some intro/explanatory text: On this page, a candidate chooses the reforms that he or she supports. Select first the district. Then select which reforms you support. The engine will produce code that you can place on your own website. It will also enable us to record your support on our website.
  • Change the "Customize" language to:
    "I believe in the following reform:"
    • I will not accept contributions from registered lobbyists.
    • I will not accept contributions from PACs
    • I will support the abolition of "earmarks"
    • I will support reform to increase transparency in Congress
    • I will support the public financing of public elections
  • The badge needs to be rethought. We're building something that needs to fit on someone's website. It needs to be small and distinctive. I think we should offer four basic options, which they get by selecting a radio button to pick which they want: (1) A big Change Congress badge. Something like the examples at Change-congress-eg-graphics.008.png -- not committed to the color (maybe stars should be Obama blue), but basically two options for two designs -- thin or fat, and with stars or without.
  • ID section: We need to enable identification. So either click to add more data, or by default, determine (1) what district (first ask state, then do a pull down for districts), (2) Candidate party (pull down for major and then other), (3) candidate name, (4) verification email address. We can put (1) to (3) into the metadata immediately. We should use the verification email to run the verification routine: It generates an email to the address, and explains what this is, and asks for a response from a registered email address tied to the campaign. Once we get the verification, we can add the person to our own database of signatories.
  • Then a copy/paste box, based on the information above. But key: The icon produced must enable a link back to a page explaining the pledge for that candidate. So this means we need a pledge page (ala a commons deed with creative commons licenses (click on the cc-wiki icon below for an eg)) and that URL needs to be embedded here, with all the metatadata added about district, etc.
  • The whole page needs to be better centered.

longer-term changes

  • (longer term): The front map should allow you to select either PAC money or Lobbyist money or both
  • don't use fixed width text blocks
  • &s should be encoded in embed HTML
  • Bankenrecht Ukraine

Along with join us and donate, we need to indicate that another way people can help is by putting representatives on the record on these issues. There are two parts: finding a representative's views on all five issues and then hounding them until they sign the pledge. We need a brief description of the project and then a link to email us if you want to get involved.

I'm thinking something like:

Ways You Can Help
Join our mailing list. Enter your email address (and zipcode if you have one) to get occasional emails about how you can help us reform Congress:
Donate to the cause. It's going to take money to get the money out of politics. If you can contribute, please let us know what you can pledge.
I'm willing to [ ] per month to candidates who:
[ ] won't take money from PACs
[ ] won't take money from lobbyists
I'm willing to contribute [ ] to help fund Change Congress itself.

Pick out the politicians. We need your help tracking down politicians and getting them to sign on to our cause. The first step is researching candidates and finding their views on these crucial issues of reform. The second is contacting them until they sign the pledge. If you're interested in contributing, email us at [].

Also, we should have a link to for people to discuss.

  1. move "I am unaffiliated with ..." up next to zip code