Samantha McDonald and Melissa Mazmanian at LegBranch.org:
Currently, uses of technology in Congress are preventing citizens from meaningfully engaging with their policymakers. Technologies such as constituent databases provide helpful tools for collecting, storing, and analyzing constituent communication. However, these technologies promote the datafication of citizen information. This configures and constrains (1) how policymakers engage citizens as possible actors within the policymaking process; and (2) how staff labor is allocated and distributed. We urge legislators and staff to think critically about what technology they adopt and how these systems affect their perceptions of citizen input in the policymaking process.