In itself, the New York Senate getting a new website may sound a rather niche story, even for New Yorkers.* However its original functionality for allowing the public to track legislation and let their elected representatives know what they think of what they’re up to is very interesting – and there’s no reason it should be restricted to the New York Senate:
From the user dashboard, residents can follow issues, look up bills, and write to their senator. Any feedback given—petitions signed or bills supported with an “aye” or opposed with a “nay”—is sent, not to the author of the petition or sponsor of the bill, but to the senator that represents that New Yorker.
Constituents’ support for and opposition to bills on the active list—the list of bills expected to make it to the floor for a vote that day—is shown to senators in easy-to-read bar graphs right alongside the bills up for a vote, and if the senator refreshes the page the graphs update in real time.
* Dear pedant, Yes, yes, I know.