Press Release
For Immediate Release: 
May 26, 2021
Contact Info: 
Margaret Mulkerrin 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) announced today a major upgrade to DemCom—the official intranet for House Democratic staff—including expanding access to U.S. Senate Democratic staff, new mobile access, redesigned layouts, new post-via-email functionality, a new calendar of all major Member and staff events, a new tool for offices to manage vacation requests, and a new dark mode. DemCom has been in use by House Democratic staff for twelve years and is used regularly by over 2,000 House Democratic staffers. The Majority Leader's office has developed DemCom 5.0 based on extensive feedback from users. (Note: the site is here but is only accessible by Democratic staff inside the House or Senate firewall). 

"I'm pleased to introduce a significantly revamped DemCom to House Democratic staff and also—for the first time—to Senate Democratic staff. DemCom is a powerful tool that helps House and Senate Democratic staff serve the American people even more effectively," Leader Hoyer said. "I will continue to work to ensure that Congressional Democrats and the federal government adopt the latest technologies to best serve our constituents and the American public."

DemCom 5.0’s major updates include:

  • Expansion to Senate Democratic staff – A feature that has been often requested for many years is now a reality. DemCom is now available throughout the Senate network, and Senate Democratic staff can log in by having a secure key sent to their Senate email. This feature was soft-launched last fall, and the number of regular Senate users has been organically growing at a steady rate. 
     
  • New seamless mobile access – House Democratic staff can now access DemCom through any browser on mobile devices, and the new site has been made mobile-friendly throughout. Previously, it was only accessible through the Airwatch browser that most House staff did not have installed. Note: Senate Democratic staff can access via mobile, but only through the Airwatch browser. 
     
  • Redesigned layouts for more devices – DemCom 5.0 includes an expanded adaptive layout to help support phones, tablets, desktops, and all other screen sizes.
     
  • New post-via-email functionality – Previous versions of DemCom required staff to manually post and tag content. But now with 5.0, all content on DemCom is imported via email, and the system then organizes content it imports by office, bill, and issue. Since 4.0, DemCom has been automatically importing the information from emails sent to the "Democratic LDs" list, which includes substantive information like talking points, fact sheets, and Dear Colleagues. Now, in addition, any content can be added to DemCom simply by emailing PostOnDemCom "at" mail.house.gov. Most Leadership and Committee offices are now using this new method to post important internal documents that are sent to lists other than the LDs, like materials created for press staff, for example.
     
  • New calendar of all Member and staff events – When DemCom's code analyzes the hundreds of emails and Dear Colleagues that most staffers get each week, it automatically detects which emails are announcing events, and it automatically creates posts on the DemCom calendar with links to the source emails. The result is a first-of-its-kind calendar of the hundreds of Congressional events each month. Those items are red below. The other colors are existing sources on the DemCom calendar, like the unified committee calendar in brown, for example.
     
  • New functionality for offices to manage vacation requests - Newly added to the DemCom Directory, offices now have private tabs in their office where staff can submit and manage vacation requests. Approved vacation requests from your office are also overlayed on the main DemCom calendar (purple items). There is also an "Office Wikis" section where offices can put important intra-office documents like process memos and leave policies.
     
  • Even more organized content – DemCom is smart enough to create relations between content. Quickly see all events, LD Email, and Dear Colleagues authored by a particular office either in the Directory or by using the filters on the "Documents" page, or view all content that mentions a particular bill on a Bill page.
     
  • Adopting the latest web technologies:
    • Every part of DemCom has now been rebuilt as a Single Page Application (SPA). A SPA is a JavaScript-based web application which avoids having to load separate HTML pages from a server each time you click a link. The result is super speedy navigation, uninterrupted infinite scrolling, and cached data for slower connections.
    • DemCom front-end uses a new UI framework built on top of Vue.js. This framework is developed according to Material Design Specification - with every component crafted to be modular, responsive, and performant. 
    • A super speedy search backend using ElasticSearch, which enables quicker full-text searches and allows quick drilling down of DemCom content based on facets such as Office, office type, content type, related issue, etc.
       
  • Dark Mode - Click on your profile in the top-right to switch to dark mode, switching the entire site to a black background, which is easier on your eyes at night.

Today’s updates build upon DemCom’s existing major features:

  • Bill database – Democratic staffers can go to bill pages on DemCom for any of the 10,000+ bills before Congress and find a wealth of information from inside and outside of Congress. As the primary means of organizing all information, DemCom dynamically consumes all of the bulk legislative data provided by the GPO and LOC. DemCom also supplements Congressionally-provided data with 3rd party legislative data from sites like GovTrack.us and Popvox.com, and from intra-Caucus sources like LD emails.
     
  • DemCom Directory – The daily-updated DemCom staff directory includes all 16,000+ current Congressional staff from both parties and both chambers. The directory includes the “issue areas covered” data that shows who in each office is responsible for each legislative issue area. DemCom uses KnowWho, the same data source that most advocacy and lobby firms rely upon. The data is updated daily from KnowWho’s calling through offices and monitoring announcements. Staffers can easily query the data, building custom lists, and then easily export via copy-paste all the emails from any custom-built list. 
     
  • Resume Bank – Paired with the public portal at MajorityLeader.gov/resumes, all Democratic staff can search, browse, and leave recommendations on any of the thousands of recently submitted resumes. Since it was originally launched in 2012, over 10,000 resumes have been submitted and there have been tens of thousands unique visits by House Democratic staff viewing the resumes on DemCom--thousands of which have used diversity filters when viewing resumes, a significant success in our ongoing effort to increase staff diversity.
     
  • "The Digital Success Project" - A place for Democratic Offices to browse trailblazing examples of proactively reaching out to constituents through online ads, emails, or other digital methods. It answers the common question asked on the Press Secretaries email list: “Do you have a good example of…?,” and highlights not just compelling imagery and text, but metrics on which success should be built upon.
     
  • LC letter library – A space for staffers who manage the large amounts of constituent correspondence to collaborate and share information.
     
  • Many others including the Job Announcements boardarchives of Floor Updates and Daily Talking PointsAnnual vendor surveys, and the annual Member Online All-Star competition.
The DemCom website is only accessible to current House Democratic staff.