OpenCongress will be shutting down on March 1st. But don't worry: We're doing so for a number of good reasons. From then on, we'll be redirecting users to the excellent GovTrack, where you can continue to monitor Congress.

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David with PPF here, I'm down in D.C. today in preparation for a rally tomorrow by the Stop Watching Us coalition against mass domestic surveillance. This morning I attended a training by EFF, Public Knowledge and others on Capitol Hill for citizens going to lobby their members of Congress and Cong. staff on public opposition to NSA spying. I'm proud to be listed as an individual supporter of the protest, but what's really impressive is the over 100 public-advocacy organizations and companies that have formed the coaltiion. More after the jump.

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Sign Up to Help Test an Improved OpenCongress

September 4, 2013 - by David Moore

Today, I’m encouraging you to sign up to help test an improved version of OpenCongress. We’re pleased that developers from Sunlight Labs have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to fix bugs and continually improve OpenCongress’ data quality and user experience.

Sign up here to be the first to know when the latest version of OpenCongress is ready. The folks from Sunlight will be in touch to give you a preview of the site and to give you an opportunity to tell us what’s working, what’s not and what you’d like to see.

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Writing from the plane headed to the National Conference on Media Reform in Denver, CO, organized by the terrific folks at PPF's longtime friends at Free Press.

I'm taking the trip to preview our soon-to-be-relaunched website for engagement with state & city elected officials, For more about what we're building for public Q&A with city & local government, check my OG Blog post from last month.

At the conference (micropublishing hashtag #NCMR13, I believe) - on Saturday at 2pm MT in the room Governors Square 9, I'll do a demo of our redesigned OG and ask attendees what questions they would like to ask their city councilmembers & mayors' offices. Also excited to see friends & colleagues from our sibling non-profit, Fight For the Future. More links & shout-outs after the jump.

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Help - Before 5pm ET Today

March 21, 2013 - by David Moore

Update, Friday March 29th: This phase of the Knight NewsChallenge ends at 5pm ET today, so please helps us now by clicking "applaud this" on our proposal page: - a version of "We The People" for state, city, and local governments

... then please post an update on Facebook or Twitter or email to encourage more views & applause of our proposal, suggestions below:

Click "applaud this" for @open_gov in the #NewsChallenge - "We The People" for every level of government:

... much more info after the jump, including where we stand in the competition, other NewsChallenge proposals to applaud, and why we hope you'll give a click to support our tiny non-profit team.

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The OpenCongress team has submitted a project to the Knight Foundation NewsChallenge: - a version of "We The People" for state, city, and local governments

Support our non-profit work - please visit that page and click "applaud this" in the right-hand side, then create a free OpenIdeo account or login securely through FB Connect. Once logged-in, your applause will count immediately - we're currently ranked 22nd of 822 proposals.

Next, here's a sample Facebook or Twitter update you can share to help us spread the word:

Click "applaud" for in the #NewsChallenge - "We The People" for every level of government:

... with your quick help, we can roll out OG to hundreds more city governments this year. Much more info after the jump.

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#SoTU 2013

February 12, 2013 - by David Moore

For updates on the State of the Union tonight, follow along with our lists on micropublishing:

Congress-Watchers on @opencongress

Political science by @ppolitics

#opengov & civic engagement & open-data leaders 

Federal Budget - #realitybased economic research

For video background on the #SoTU, see last Sunday's edition of 'Up with Chris Hayes', the most substantive & empirically-accountable news show on cable TV.

More info on our non-profit projects for continual, reciprocal engagement with elected officials at the city, state & federal levels - where we're headed with for cities & states, and our public-benefit vision for OpenCongress in 2013 and beyond. Get in touch, david at More background on #SoTU and the 113th U.S. Congress after the jump.

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Update, 7pm ET, Friday Jan. 4th, 2013: Data from the 113th Congress is now live on OpenCongress. We have a fresh blog post coming soon on brand-new bills introduced over the past two days. Latest bill & member info for both chambers seems to be displaying fine, let us know if you see any glitches or have any questions, david at OK cool.

Previously: The 112th U.S. Congress ended, as you likely know, with a sadsack pratfall of unaccountable public policymaking - a compromise between the two major parties avoiding the "fiscal curb" - via a vote on H.R. 8, specifically the House roll call 659 (257 aye, 167 nay, 8 abstain) - and previously by Senate roll call 251 (89 aye, 8 nay, 3 abstain). More info & fiscal what-cha-ma-call-'er links after-the-jump.

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Follow Us on Micropublishing

December 10, 2012 - by David Moore

I spend a fair amount of time on the Twitter micropublishing service, sharing links - to follow along, just click "subscribe" in the left-hand sidebar: 

- #opengov list - 125 members, mostly gov't transparency & civic engagement & non-profit news & innovation. E.g. @digiphile.

political science list - 52 members, more manageable, hopefully-quality political analysis & D.C. watchdogging. E.g. 'Up with Chris Hayes'.

federal budget list - 15 members, mostly realitybased economics & media-discourse-correctives. E.g. Dean Baker

- more lists - including PPF'ers, Congress WatchersSunlightersKnight Foundation-ers, and especially Wonkblog-ers, so so vital.

...happy to subscribe to suggested lists, get at me, @ppolitics. Click through for more.

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I'm pleased to have a new blog post up on Philanthropy NY's site, following up on last month's panel discussion on tech tools for a stronger democracy. 

I first invoke friend-of-PPF Chris 'Hayza' Hayes' analysis from his important new book, Twilight of the Elites, on elite failure and the effects of historically-terribly-unbelievably-plummeting public trust in contemporary American political process. (Hayza, pictured at right.)

Please read & share & send me feedback on the post - here's a micropublishing update to handily RT - thank you to Philanthropy NY for the opportunity to build on the issues raised in our event. Click through for more info.

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The team at the Participatory Politics Foundation is very pleased to announce that we've received a charitable grant from the Knight Foundation to take down to the local level as a free & open-source public resource.

We're starting in two Knight Foundation communities over the next six months: Philadelphia, PA; San Jose, CA; as well as a third, Washington, D.C. We're searching for Rails programmers who want to make an impact in #opengov locally!

Our new work with the Knight Foundation is part of their exciting Tech For Engagement initiative, "founded on the ideal that technology has the power to transform our democracy." We're looking forward to extending the popular OpenCongress model of government transparency and civic engagement down to the city & local level - click through for more info.

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Help OpenCongress - With Just One Click

June 29, 2012 - by David Moore

The team behind OpenCongress - an open-source, not-for-profit project - has submitted a proposal to the Knight NewsChallenge. 

Help us out - click on the heart on this page to vote for our project :: 

What Matters Here - surfacing political issues from Twitter conversations in your city

You'll need to login or create a free Tumblr account, but it seriously only takes a minute, and helps us significantly. Thank you. Click through for more info on @WhatMattersHere.

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The team behind OpenCongress submitted a proposal to the Knight NewsChallenge. Help us out -- vote for our idea here: 

What Matters Here - surfacing political issues from Twitter conversations in your city

In short, it's a new Web tool for finding urgent local political issues being discussed on Twitter and connecting people to lawmakers. Click through for more info on our proposal and please give us a "heart", it's easy and significantly helpful. (Image linked from some site called UpRoxx, by Column Five Media & InboxQ.)

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Next Steps in #FreeTHOMAS Campaign

June 7, 2012 - by David Moore

Hypothetical- you care about an issue: catastrophic climate degradation, net neutrality, extreme income inequality, single-payer health care, student loan forgiveness. Let's say the U.S. Congress has public information about this issue that is of core relevance, but refuses to open the primary source data to the public in full. For well over five years, technical & public-interest advocates outside government have worked in good-faith efforts to educate Congress that the data can straightforwardly be released & safeguarded - indeed, the data is already being screen-scraped several times a day & provided to free public Web resources (as best as possible). An Act of Congress calls explicitly for the information to be released. Several previous task forces failed to have real-world effects and clouded the issue unnecessarily, with no accountability or communication or recourse for open data advocates. 

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Help OpenCongress Fundraise (Not-For-Profit)

May 31, 2012 - by David Moore

The U.S. Congress is a baffling, systemically-corrupt, closed-off institution. OpenCongress works every day to make its workings more accessible and give you the real story behind what's happening. 

Help us keep OpenCongress alive as a free & open-source public resource.

OpenCongress will launch a new fundraising drive next month and we need some volunteer web development time to make it happen. Click through to see how you can help. 


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This video presentation, by Prof. Yochai Benkler of Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society, is one of the best articulations I've ever seen of the meaning of "participatory politics".

Please watch it in full & share it: Blueprint for Democratic Participation.

Help us facilitate more stop-SOPA-style civic engagement on OpenCongress - around the economy, education, health care, the environment, immigration, technology, or any issue imaginable - support our not-for-profit work. Click through for more of my thoughts on the importance of the stop-SOPA / PIPA movement for netfreedom, as well as why this research is so important for our core non-profit mission of promoting participatory democracy through free Web tools.

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