As a certified B Corp, we’ve long operated with a mission to make positive civic, social, and environmental impact. This has manifested in many of the choices we’ve made as an organization, such as our Techsoup donation program, and our commitment to continue offering discounted services to nonprofits, governments, and educational institutions. Using the power of business for good is important to us, so when we heard about the new Stripe Climate effort, we were interested in contributing.

Stripe is a technology company that builds economic infrastructure. …

Today we’re excited to share an updated look for Cicero: a new logo and website. Cicero has evolved significantly over the past fourteen years, and as we got ready to update our website this year, we realized it was time for a refresh to our brand as well.

The evolution of a logo

Cicero was launched in 2006, primarily as an API service to help folks more accurately match addresses to local legislative districts. This was reflected in our earliest logomark, which strove to iconize the API interaction as two offset triangles representing the interface between two applications.

Cicero logo circa 2006

As more organizations used Cicero to connect…

Cicero began as a small project to support our local nonprofit neighbor the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance in 2006. Since then we’ve grown and expanded our coverage significantly with the goal of becoming the global resource for elected official information and geographic data on elections and democracy. More than a decade later, we took a look back at some of the important lessons we’ve learned along the way.

Lesson #1: Political geographies are complicated

When we first set out to build Cicero, we knew there were two major types of data we needed to support an address to district matching service: legislative district boundary shapes, and…

If you browse our blog, you might come across a few posts about data expansion from the past few years. Some of our larger efforts have included the addition of 50 new cities in Canada and 200 of the largest cities in the United States. A frequent question we get from customers is: when and why do you expand your data coverage? While new data is always useful to people, our efforts might appear arbitrary. We wanted to shine a light on the reasoning behind our decisions.

Map with points for the 54 largest cities in Canada

Our mission is to be the global resource for elected official information and…

Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

Growing up, I used to look forward to the weekends. We had taught our family dog, Harry, to retrieve the Sunday newspaper from the end of our driveway. Understandably, this was an exciting event for a child. What followed was a ceremony that was often repeated: dog brings paper inside, dad unwraps it and reads it slowly while standing at the kitchen counter and drinking cups of black coffee. As I got older, I participated in the tradition.

My parents always joked about our local paper, and how seemingly minuscule events would make the front page (“Cow Gets Loose, Causes…

We’re excited to introduce the new Officials by Region resource to the Cicero API, which enables flexible access to contact information for thousands of elected officials in nine different countries. Read on to learn how you can make use of this data in your application or campaign.

Photo by Marco Oriolesi on Unsplash

Why we did this: a very brief history

Ten years ago, Cicero began as a straightforward address to district matching service. As the product of a geospatial software company, our initial goal centered around political geography: we wanted to build the most accurate way to match an address to a legislative district. …

By Stephanie Thome on April 25th, 2019

Democracy’s Database is Growing

For over ten years, Cicero’s mission has been to become a global resource for elected official information and geographic data on elections and democracy. This month, we’re taking another step toward that goal by expanding our coverage to include local data for 50 new cities in Canada.

You’ll now be able to access bulk data for local Canadian representatives serving every city with a population of 100,000 or more. This information can be used for mapping addresses to electoral districts or ridings, and for mail, email, or social media campaigns. …

More companies are taking their impact on the world into consideration and consumers are paying attention. Can being political be profitable?

By Stephanie Thome on November 29th, 2018

Last week, Tom’s Shoes Founder Blake Mycoskie made headlines when he appeared on The Tonight Show and announced a 5 million dollar commitment to organizations fighting to end gun violence. Along with it, Tom’s unleashed a campaign to write postcards to US Congress members in support of Universal Background Checks. The call to action is featured front and center on their website, and has been used by hundreds of thousands of people since it was posted.

By Stephanie Thome on October 30th, 2018

Are you voting in new districts this election? We updated our free Officials & Districts tool to help you find out.

You’ve probably heard the word “redistricting” more than usual this year, especially if you’re living in places like Alabama or North Carolina. As a result of our work maintaining the Cicero database, my team closely tracks redistricting events across the world. But the details around legislative districts, like how they actually look on a map and when they go into effect, are complicated. And there are few resources to turn to if you want to see how state-wide changes affect you. …

While working with countless organizations geared toward advocacy, the Cicero team often gets asked: what’s the best way to contact elected officials? These days, constituents have many different potential lines of communication with their representatives, and it’s hard to know which might be the most effective. Is email preferable to phone? Should I really be faxing my reps?

We decided to find out. In August, we attended the National Conference of State Legislatures Annual Summit, where we had access to over 1,000 State Senators and Representatives from across the United States, as well as many of their staff members. …

Stephanie Thome

Product Manager of Cicero: a legislative district and elected official database. Interested in politics, elections, and democracy. @CiceroAPI

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