You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

Ready to Launch, A New Platform to Ask Elected Officials Anything

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, February 7 2014

Last week, the White House made something of a splash with its Big Block of Cheese Day, encouraging internet users to ask members of the Obama administration and the White House staff questions on social media. A new platform officially launching Monday hopes to provide voters with the opportunity to pose questions to elected officials and other prominent figures every day of the year, in some ways echoing an ongoing Ask Me Anything concept. Read More

First POST: Contained Fury

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, October 30 2013

Members of the House Intelligence Committee disagree about whether the NSA has kept them fully informed; Sen. Rand Paul a serial plagiarizer?; An antidote to technolibertarianism; and much, much more. Read More

New Grant to Open Legislatures, Make Cities More Interactive

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, October 2 2012

The people behind OpenCongress will hire a developer to build out a local-government version of their legislative tracking platform and the social network for civic projects ChangeByUs will get significant upgrades as the two biggest recipients of $1.3 million in funding announced today by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Read More

Opening up the World's Legislative Bodies: The Global Game

BY David Eaves | Wednesday, September 5 2012

The National Democratic Institute (NDI) and several partners have launched a Declaration on Parliamentary Openness that seeks, among other things, to make parliamentary information more transparent, accessible and available in bulk online. According to NDI, over 70 organizations in 50 countries, mostly transparency groups, have signed the declaration. Sadly, there are no parliaments or legislative bodies on the list. How effective will such a declaration be?

Read More

Editorial: How @Google And Friends Can Build Local Internet Power

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, March 26 2012

Poster from Google's Take Action page against SOPA/PIPA

Just over two months ago, somewhere around 10 million people emailed, called, faxed and otherwise cajoled their Members of Congress to express their opposition to the Stop Online Privacy (SOPA) and Protect IP (PIPA) Acts. An approximated 115,000 websites either went "dark" or joined the campaign in related ways, with Google, Wikipedia, Firefox, Wordpress, and Tumblr all playing leading roles. In two days, legislation that had been moving through Congress like a dose of salts was withdrawn from consideration, with dozens of Members suddenly announcing their opposition, including many who had originally supported the bills. The Internet had won, at least this once. Micah Sifry asks, now what? He writes: "We urgently need a conversation about one other huge piece of the puzzle: What's going to happen with all those email addresses Google and the other anti-SOPA groups collected from people who responded to their call to action on January 18th?" Read More

In Search of a Citizen-Congress Feedback Loop

BY Nick Judd | Friday, August 26 2011

In a blog post yesterday, OpenCongress' Danny Shaw writes that over 1,500 letters have been sent on their platform since they launched a new feature about a month ago that allows users to tap Opencongress to send letters ... Read More

OpenCongress.org, a Place to Track Federal Lawmakers and the Laws They Make, Gets a Significant Upgrade

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, July 27 2011

OpenCongress.org's new letter-writing functionality. Yesterday I noted ways to contact Congress online, as debt-ceiling talks in Washington drag on and interest from constituents is jamming up the Capitol switchboard. ... Read More

State-Level Legislatures' Bills to Get First Machine Reading

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, January 18 2011

Source: OpenGovernment.org State-level open government and open data enthusiasts just got a new experiment to work with, as OpenGovernment.org, a project to provide easier access to information about the deliberations of ... Read More

Hating on Thomas.gov

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, September 14 2010

As part of our continuing great debate about the worthiness of THOMAS.gov, the Library of Congress's online legislative information portal, David Moore of OpenCongress shares with me the opinion that as it stands, the ... Read More

Tools for the Political Pack Rat

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, November 17 2008

Let's say President Barack Obama follows through on his promise to make government data more open, more standardized, and more transparent. How, then, do we keep track of all that freed information and the rich bounty ... Read More