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. Local advocacy is more important than ever, and we hope that this data will assist organizations and individuals in getting their voices heard where they will feel the impact most.
If you’re wondering why this information isn’t easily accessible already, you’re not alone. In general, aggregated local elected official data is hard to find, and it’s not a problem specific to one country. Tracking this information is time consuming and tedious, and requires a dedicated team that is knowledgeable about local election laws and political geography, and conversant in multiple languages.
It’s a labor of love for our team. As Cicero has expanded into the nine countries we currently cover today, we’ve learned a great deal about the peculiarities of various government structures and election systems. For instance, as we’ve worked to build out our local Canada coverage, we’ve come across some interesting tidbits:
- Some councils have both district and regional members (akin to At Large members that serve the entire jurisdiction).
- It is not uncommon to have two councilors representing one ward or district.
- In Quebec, it is typical to have both city and arrondissement (“sub-division” or borough) councilors. The latter may include non-voting members of city council that represent a certain borough, but have different roles and don’t vote.
- “Redistribution” (or redistricting, as you may know it) doesn’t occur on set schedules as it does in the United States; rather, some cities do it nearly every election cycle, while others haven’t redistributed in decades.
It’s fascinating to discover the ways in which various jurisdictions have structured their systems of representation. And we hope that you can leverage that knowledge for your benefit. This data could be served through advocacy or engagement platforms via our API, licensed in bulk, or used in a one-time outreach campaign with our District Match tool.
If you’d like to access this data, or have any questions at all, reach out at email@example.com.