From OpenCongress Wiki
|Primary contact||Nisha Thompson|
|Contact phone||202-742-1520 x231|
|Organization description|| The Sunlight Foundation was co-founded in 2006 by Washington, DC businessman and lawyer Michael Klein and longtime Washington public interest advocate Ellen Miller with the non-partisan mission of using the revolutionary power of the Internet to make information about Congress and the federal government more meaningfully accessible to citizens. Through our projects and grant-making, Sunlight serves as a catalyst for greater political transparency and to foster more openness and accountability in government. Sunlight’s ultimate goal is to strengthen the relationship between citizens and their elected officials and to foster public trust in Congress. We are unique in that technology and the power of the Internet are at the core of every one of our efforts.
Our work is committed to helping citizens, bloggers and journalists be their own best congressional watchdogs, by improving access to existing information and digitizing new information, and by creating new tools and Web sites to enable all of us to collaborate in fostering greater transparency. Since our founding in the spring of 2006, we have assembled and funded an array of web-based databases and tools including OpenCongress.org, Congresspedia.org, FedSpending.org, OpenSecrets.org, EarmarkWatch.org and LOUISdb.org. These sites make millions of bits of information available online about the members of Congress, their staff, legislation, federal spending and lobbyists.
By facilitating the creation of new databases, and the maintenance and expansion of pre-existing ones, along with the application of technologies that free data from its silos, we have liberated gigabytes of important political data from basements, paper, .pdfs and other non-searchable and non-mashable formats. These efforts, combined with our own distributed investigative research projects, community-based engagement with Congress to bridge its technological gaps and lobbying to demand changes in how and what Congress makes publicly available online, have created an unprecedented demand for more: more information, more transparency and more easy-to-use tools.
Underlying all of Sunlight’s efforts is a fundamental belief that increased transparency will improve the conduct of Congress itself and the public’s confidence in government.
|Organization message|| [[Organization message::Transparency is on the march! Check out our latest campaign: Pass S.482. Candidates for the US Senate are the only federal candidates that fail to make their campaign finances available in a timely fashion and online. The Senate is considering a bill — S.482 — that would fix this.
We have many more projects which can be accessed at our homepage.]]
|Organization subject area tags||campaign finance, CRS, earmarks, executive branch, gov contracting, gov data, gov ethics, gov IT, legislative branch, lobbying, open meetings, open records, spending|
|Organization jurisdiction tags||national|
|Organization states covered|
|Organization project 1||Sunlight Labs|
|Organization project 1 url||http://www.SunlightLabs.com|
|Organization project 1 notes|| Sunlight Labs started as a Sunlight Foundation pilot project to prototype tech ideas to improve government transparency and political influence disclosure. Now we're an open source development team that builds technology to make government more transparent and accountable. We also provide technical support to Sunlight Foundation sponsored projects.
Basically, we are people that get to play around with cool data and technology every day.
|Organization project 2||OpenCongress.org|
|Organization project 2 url||http://www.OpenCongress.org|
|Organization project 2 notes|| OpenCongress brings together official government data with news articles, blog coverage, a wiki, video and public comments to give you the real story behind what's happening in Congress.
OpenCongress is a free, open-source, non-profit, and non-partisan web resource with a mission to help make Congress more transparent and to encourage civic engagement. OpenCongress is a joint project of the Sunlight Foundation and the Participatory Politics Foundation.
|Organization project 3||OOGL - Our Open Government List|
|Organization project 3 url||http://feedback.sunlightfoundation.com/oogl/|
|Organization project 3 notes||Shortly after President Obama's inauguration, he issued a memo on transparency directing his top officials to develop plans for an Open Government Directive to promote transparency, participation, and collaboration. The Sunlight Foundation has created this project in order to add a public element to the crafting of this Open Government Directive that is itself transparent, participatory, and collaborative.|
|Organization project 4||Read the Bill|
|Organization project 4 url||http://readthebill.org/|
|Organization project 4 notes|| Too often, controversial bills are voted on hours after coming to the House or Senate floor. There is no time for members of Congress to read the bill, and no chance for interested citizens to weigh in on the legislation.
ReadTheBill.org's mission is to strengthen our democracy by making sure elected officials and citizens have the chance to read and understand legislation.
A more transparent government begins with providing the people with the opportunity to tell their elected officials what they think of a piece of legislation, before it comes up for a vote. ReadTheBill.org is an effort to gather individuals and groups, luminaries and everyday folks, conservatives, liberals and independents behind the simple concept that all non-emergency legislation should be available online for 72 hours before debate begins.