Gongwer's Latest Services and Enhancements

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Gongwer Expands Legislative Status Report Sharing Options

Gongwer News Service today announced the expansion of its bill status report sharing features, allowing subscribers to easily embed their reports in communications targeted toward members and associates.

The new feature allows users to customize the dimensions of embedded status reports, which automatically brings real-time content to websites, newsletters and other platforms.

For years, Gongwer subscribers have had the ability to include links to legislative status reports and custom committee schedules in their communications. This enhancement ensures that legislative information is displayed automatically whether a link is clicked or not.

Gongwer's website also allows subscribers to upload comments, positions and documents related to bills they are following.

Subscribers with ideas for additional service enhancements can submit suggestions via our suggestion page or to info@gongwer.com.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Gongwer Introduces Enhanced Advocacy Tools, Public Official Contacts

Gongwer News Service today announced a significant expansion of its Advocacy Tools service that helps subscribers target messages to elected officials, staff and candidates.

Available on the Gongwer website, the new service further improves subscribers' ability to communicate with lawmakers down to the committee caucus level. The enhancements announced today consolidate Gongwer's tools for contacting elected officials into one-easy-to-find place.

Under the enhanced service, subscribers can easily email all members of the Senate or House, all members of any committee or just members of a single party. With a single click, subscribers can also generate mail merge-ready Excel files for any desired collection of lawmakers.

Gongwer Advocacy Tools also allow direct communication with members of joint committees and legislative staff.

Further, the updated service allows easy communication with members of Michigan's executive branch and congressional delegation.

Subscribers interested in communicating directly with candidates in the 2022 general election can also develop email lists and mail merge files via Gongwer's election page. (Michigan House candidates, Michigan Senate candidates, U.S. House candidates)

Subscribers with ideas for additional service enhancements can submit suggestions via our suggestion page or to info@gongwer.com.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Gongwer Debuts New Candidate, Organization Endorsement Feature

Gongwer News Service today announced a new service that offers information on key organizations that endorse in Michigan elections and the candidates they are supporting.

Available as a drop-down on the Gongwer election page, the new service further enhances Gongwer's extensive and unmatched candidate information database.

Information on endorsing organizations is available through the new feature, as is the full list of candidates each group has supported.

Endorsement information appears on each candidate biography page on the Gongwer site, the full list of bios for all candidates and is also displayed on biography pages for officials who are elected.

Organizations that have endorsed for the 2022 general election but are not yet included on the Gongwer site are encouraged to send their endorsements to info@gongwer.com

Details about candidate endorsements can also be found on the 2022 Michigan Elections app (Download for iPhone/iPad, Download for Android).

Thursday, July 28, 2022

274 Tax Increases On Ballot; Gongwer Unveils New Millage Monitor

Gongwer News Service is now providing subscribers with a new and exclusive feature to more easily monitor local property tax measures and other local ballot proposals.

In the past, Gongwer would provide subscribers with a spreadsheet containing all local proposals. Access to this new feature is available at Gongwer's Elections page.

Now, all of that information moves to the Gongwer website, is more easily sortable and contains a unique tracking tool that keeps count of how many of each type of proposal is on the ballot statewide. Following the election, once Gongwer enters results for each proposal, this tracking tool will change from showing how many of each type of proposal is on the ballot to how many of each type passed and how many failed.

Subscribers can sort ballot issues by jurisdiction, county, type of proposal and whether they passed or failed.

Further, by moving this information to Gongwer's website, past local proposals are now archived in one place for easy searching. Local proposals in each election going back to August 2018 are available.

Gongwer plans additional enhancements to this feature in the future.

The Tuesday ballot is a typical August of an even-numbered year ballot with a large number of proposals.

There are 274 requests for tax increases, according to a Gongwer News Service analysis of ballots across the state. There are another 443 property tax renewal proposals.

Of the 274 new or increased tax proposals, 119 are for public safety (police, fire, emergency medical services, jail or 9-1-1). There are 36 for roads, 22 for libraries, 20 for senior services and 11 for parks and recreation.

There is only a smattering – 14 – of proposals by school districts to sell bonds to pay for new or renovated buildings. There are none of the nine-figure proposals seen in recent years with the largest ones for the Blissfield Community Schools ($42 million), Edwardsburg Public Schools ($59.62 million), Gladstone Area Schools ($47.6 million), Ida Public Schools ($43.3 million), Lapeer Community Schools ($44 million) and the Wayland Union Schools ($48.5 million).

There are also five proposals involving whether communities will allow marijuana businesses in their jurisdictions.

Greenland Township in Ontonagon County, Ortonville and Royal Oak Township in Oakland County are considering proposals to authorize marijuana businesses. Meridian Township in Ingham County and Whitewater Township in Grand Traverse County are considering proposals to ban them.

– By Zach Gorchow

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Contact Candidates, Legislators Through Enhanced Gongwer Features

Gongwer News Service today announced the enhancement of its leading candidate and lawmaker contact tools.

Subscribers can use Gongwer's candidate database, which includes an email address for nearly every candidate for state or federal office in Michigan, to contact all candidates, candidates for a given office or just for a particular district. Gongwer staff also is in the process of adding U.S. mail addresses for all campaigns to our database.

Newly added is a feature allowing subscribers to produce mail merge-friendly Excel files that can be used to communicate with legislators and candidates.

Mail merge features for legislators are found in various areas of the Gongwer website, including Advocacy Tools, legislative directories (Senate, House) and committee rosters (Senate, House, Joint).

Gongwer subscribers can also now produce full Excel lists of candidates for statewide offices, Congress, the Legislature and other offices via Gongwer's election page. To generate those lists, select the office of interest and then click the "Contact" link on the top right of the page.

The previous function in the same location allowing subscribers to generate an outgoing email from their device automatically populated with the email addresses of candidates for a given office remains available.

Additional service enhancements are in development and will be announced in the near future.

Monday, February 28, 2022

Gongwer Launches New Website, Unified Tracking Dashboard

An enhanced, next generation website is now available to Gongwer subscribers at gongwer.com with a cutting-edge platform that sets the stage for the deployment of future service improvements.

The new site incorporates a series of tracking system enhancements into a streamlined tracking dashboard that immediately displays details on each user's tracking profile. Further, the interactive site makes it easier for users to track additional items and create tracking groups that can be used to share legislative information with clients, members and associates.

The new site preserves Gongwer's traditional layout, category pages and mobile-friendly platform.

Users will find much greater ease of usage through the use of drop-down menus in the tracking system that keep them in the same location rather than the old system of accordions on the main tracking page that often had to be reopened while making changes to tracked bills and rules.

The new website will be a seamless transition for subscribers. Users do not have to update login information. And Gongwer subscribers continue to enjoy unlimited bill tracking as part of their subscription at no additional charge.

To access all of the new site's features, some users may need to refresh the cache on their browsers. That process can be initiated by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Delete or Ctrl+F5.

Below is a list of main site pages, with details on what information is available on each one:

News: Hosts Gongwer's flagship news product, the Michigan Report. The interactive Michigan Report includes coverage of key issues and debates in and around the Capitol, and delivers links, resources and documents that help subscribers navigate policy and politics. Gongwer's online news archive dates to 1993.

Tracking: The go-to page for individuals and organizations that monitor legislation, MCL sections, lawmakers, committees, keywords and more. Use the tracking page to build different tracking groups and share them with members, associates and colleagues.

Legislation: Detailing current and past bills, public acts and resolutions, the legislation page shows recent activities, lists of bills by category, information on bills awaiting action in the second chamber and much more. Every bill pending in the Legislature has a detailed bill history page.

Schedules: Michigan's most extensive and reliable calendar for government, political, news and policy events. Includes full details on legislative and executive branch events, fundraisers, news conferences and more, including webcasts when available. Move events to your personal calendar with Gongwer's sync feature.

Directories: Extensive rosters of the Legislature, committee memberships and lawmaker and staff contact tools. Use Gongwer directories to stay on top of key changes in government.

Elections: Detailed information on the next generation of Michigan lawmakers. Use Gongwer's election resources to see who is running, review their bios and contact them prior to or following the elections. Candidate information is updated regularly.

Redistricting: A one-stop page with news and information pertaining to the ongoing legislative and congressional redistricting processes.

Budget: Full details on Michigan's budget process, with links to Gongwer articles, budget bills, special resources and more.

Advocacy Tools: Use Gongwer advocacy tools to contact lawmakers and their staffs. Target your communications down to the committee caucus level to make sure your message is heard.

Update Profile: Use the update profile page to select how and when you receive messages and alerts, either via email or text message.

Comments or suggestions regarding the new site are encouraged and can be submitted to gongwer@gongwer.com or via a new contact us form.

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