Ruby wrapper for the Open Civic Data API

Build Status

The Open Civic Data API is a JSON API that provides search and lookup across government organizations, people, legislation, and events, provided by the Sunlight Foundation.

For more information, check the API documentation


gem install open_civic_data



All requests to the Open Civic Data API require a Sunlight API key. An API key is free to register and has no usage limits.

Usage Examples

require 'open_civic_data'
Fetches governing bodies in a division.
Fetches political geographies such as a state, county or congressional district.
Fetches people, typically politicians or gov officials.
Fetches groups of people, such as a city council, state senate or committee.
Fetches legislative event, such as a meeting or hearing.
Fetches legislative documents, resolutions, appointments, or contracts and its history.
Fetches the record of vote taken on motions. May contain individual legilsator's yay/nay or outcome.
All methods include an optional parameter to set search end points
# Returns legislators named 'Obama'
OpenCivicData.people({'name' => 'Obama'})

# Returns second page of results (results are paginated && 0 indexed)
OpenCivicData.votes({'page' => 1 })
Use with Other APIs
# You can change the end point and disable key if necessary.
OpenCivicData.key_required = false
OpenCivicData.endpoint = ''

Supported Ruby Versions

This library aims to support and is tested against the following Ruby implementations:

  • Ruby 1.9.2
  • Ruby 1.9.3
  • Ruby 2.0.0
  • Ruby 2.1.0
  • JRuby

If something doesn't work on one of these interpreters, it should be considered a bug.

This library may inadvertently work (or seem to work) on other Ruby implementations, however support will only be provided for the versions listed above.

If you would like this library to support another Ruby version, you may volunteer to be a maintainer. Being a maintainer entails making sure all tests run and pass on that implementation. When something breaks on your implementation, you will be personally responsible for providing patches in a timely fashion. If critical issues for a particular implementation exist at the time of a major release, support for that Ruby version may be dropped.

Special Thanks to

The contributors of the Congress gem where the ideas behind this gem were largely lifted from.


Copyright (c) 2014, Sunny Juneja. See LICENSE for details.