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Big News

October 29, 2013 - by David Moore

I’m pleased to announce, on behalf of the Participatory Politics Foundation, that our flagship project has been acquired by the Sunlight Foundation.

The Participatory Politics Foundation (PPF) created OpenCongress in 2006 and launched it in 2007. Since then, OC grew quickly to become the most-visited nonprofit site for tracking the U.S. Congress, with a total of 27 million web visits, 69 million pageviews and 300,000 registered users.

I’m proud of the OpenCongress user community that grew organically and their huge appetite for engagement with Congress. With news of this acquisition, I’m now excited to introduce the OC community to PPF’s next major project, AskThem

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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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Follow #OpenGov Leaders on Micropublishing

June 17, 2013 - by David Moore

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

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

- political science list - quality political analysis & D.C. watchdogging. E.g. 'All In with Chris Hayes'.

- federal budget list -#realitybased economics, #finreg efforts & media-discourse-correctives. E.g. Dean Baker.

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

...happy to subscribe to suggested lists, get at me, @ppolitics.

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Three #OpenGov Events This Week

June 3, 2013 - by David Moore

Busy #opengov week here in NYC. I'm pleased to be attending the following events on behalf of PPF:

Tuesday, June 4th - Media Impact Forum from the exciting work of the Media Impact Funders. Tomorrow I'm honored to join the esteemed Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!, as well as my friend Nicholas Reville of our sibling non-profit PCF, to discuss how politics is culture and vice versa.

Wednesday, June 5th - excited to attend a TOW Centre for Digital Journalism workshop around creating common data standards for municipal political data, convened by David Eaves and joined by a great group of developers. 

Thursday June 6th & Friday June 7th, it's the Personal Democracy Forum conference - in my longtime opinion, the premiere tech-politics conference in the U.S. My consecutive ninth year attending (out of ten total!). PPF's very own co-founder and President of the Board, Tiffiniy Cheng, will be presenting her groundbreaking work with our other sibling non-profit, Fight For the Future,

Click through for more info & participants in each - when I get a chance at each, I'll be informally demo'ing our new - a version of 'We The People' for every elected official (city, state & federal).

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OC at Transparency Camp 2013

May 1, 2013 - by David Moore

This weekend in D.C. - it's the "un-conference" of the year for #opengov heads & civic engagement developers. That would be Transparency Camp, organized by the Sunlight Foundation.

David from OC & PPF will be there to demo our next major project: - for city- and state-level government engagement.

See more ideas on the schedule & see you in D.C. this weekend & follow along on micropublishing. Click through for more sessions about which I'm excited.

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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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PPF at SxSW Interactive - come say hi

March 8, 2013 - by David Moore

Update, March 13th: We just submitted our entry to the Knight Foundation NewsChallenge on #opengov. Please boost our chances by giving it a view and some applause: - a WeThePeople for state, city, and local governments.

... we look forward to interacting with the NewsChallenge community & trading ideas. Hope to further develop our free & open-source OG for question-and-answer with elected officials across the country.

Previously: Two of the PPF team will be at SxSW Interactive this week ::

I'll be there to sneak-preview the recently re-designed, for engagement with state & city government. I'm attending with James McKinney, the E.D. of the Canadian non-profit Open North, who is working as OpenGovernment's technical lead. Here's my draft pubilc schedule, feel free to suggest events. Image: Occupy Wall St., via SxSW Interactive site, for Andy's upcoming panel on movement-building.

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CISPA is Back; All Your Data Are Belong to Us

February 14, 2013 - by Donny Shaw

Barely a year after the defeat of SOPA, Congress is back to testing the waters for legislation that many internet users believe to be in violation of their fundamental rights to privacy and free expression. CISPA, a bill that would make it easier for corporations and the government to share internet users' personal data, was officially re-introduced  in the House on Wednesday. It’s already being rushed forward in the legislative process. The House Intelligence Committee is holding a full hearing on the bill today at 10 am. They will hear from four witnesses -- all from the business sector and all supporters of CISPA. No experts with concerns about privacy issues were invited to address the committee.

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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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Public polling shows that a majority of Americans now support legalizing marijuana, but will Congress even consider taking pot off the banned substances list? Today, two members of the House -- Rep. Jared Polis [D, CO] and Rep. Earl Blumenauer [D, OR] -- are introducing legislation to change the federal marijuana laws. One bill would regulate marijuana like alcohol, and another would establish a federal marijuana tax. The introduction of the bills is a first step, but it doesn’t mean that there is broader institutional interest in Congress for taking up the issue of legalizing pot.


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Endless Blockade for the Senate Pussyfooters

January 25, 2013 - by Donny Shaw

By a vote of 78-16 , the Senate last night approved a new rules package that keeps in place the procedural loopholes have turned the Senate into a brick wall for sensible legislation. Under the new rules it will still be possible for a single senator to halt progress on a bill, or even on a motion to proceed to a bill, simply by stating that they intend to filibuster. In recent years, this procedure, commonly known as the “silent filibuster,” has prevented the Senate from passing even the most routine, non-controversial legislation.

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One year ago today, thousands of websites and millions of internet users took action to stop major internet censorship bills in Congress, SOPA and PIPA. The protests changed the way many people think about politics by proving that bringing together an educated public to take action, online, can defaet the corrupt agendas of the most powerful interest groups and members of Congress. To celebrate this enormous, ground-shaking victory, we (PPF) are joining a bunch of the other groups that were involved in the SOPA fight in declaring today, January 18th, a new holiday -- “Internet Freedom Day.”


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