Major Open Government Group Added to Nationwide Coalition to Reinvent U.S. Lawmaking for the Internet
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Free Law Founders (FLF) today announced that The Sunlight Foundation has joined the FLF coalition to overhaul how America’s state-and-local governments make laws, deliver access to legislative and law data, and engage citizens online. Sunlight joins the growing network of government officials, citizens and civic software developers working to reinvent how democracy works on the Internet with the FLF, including: NYC Council Member Ben Kallos, San Francisco Supervisor Mark Farrell, Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza, Boston Principal Data Scientist Curt Savoie, The MIT Human Dynamics Lab, The OpenGov Foundation and the Participatory Politics Foundation.
“Sunlight is pleased to be joining the Free Law Founders and its effort to change the way millions of people interact with the law,” said Sean Vitka, Federal Policy Manager at the Sunlight Foundation. “More than just broad policy, this is about accessibility and empowering those pioneering civic hackers on the ground. We look forward to working with coalition members to make sure our neighbors know what their governments are doing, know what their laws are, and are able to put that information to use.”
The Sunlight Foundation has been a national leader in government transparency advocacy and technology, and has been opening government data online since its founding in 2006. Sunlight’s Open States has collected and standardized legislative data from all 50 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico and serves as a model for how open legislative data can make law more shareable and accessible to all. Open States shares its data via an API, and its code via GitHub, so others can reuse, benefit and extend Sunlight’s work. Sunlight is now taking the expertise it has gained from the Open States project to open and standardize local legislative data with the Open Civic Data project. In addition, to legislative data technology projects, Sunlight advocates for policy and legislation aimed at making all government data more open and accessible. In all this, the FLF intends to follow in Sunlight’s footsteps.
“I’m thrilled to have the Sunlight Foundation on Board as our newest Free Law Founder, given their vast experience in open data and open government initiatives,” said San Francisco Supervisor Mark Farrell. “I look forward to working closely with the Sunlight Foundation to bring the principles of open legislation to municipalities and states across our country.”
“Sunlight, as Justice Brandeis famously wrote, is the best disinfectant for closed, unaccountable and inefficient government,” said Seamus Kraft, Executive Director and Co-Founder of The OpenGov Foundation. “Over the last 8 years, The Sunlight Foundation has gained unmatched experience bringing tech-powered openness to all levels of American government. We’re proud to call them Free Law Founders.”
- Seamus Kraft, Executive Director, The OpenGov Foundation, 760-659-0631, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sean Vitka, Federal Policy Manager, The Sunlight Foundation, 202-742-1520, SVitka@sunlightfoundation.com
- Jess Montejano, Legislative Aide, San Francisco District 2 Supervisor Mark Farrell, 415-554-7752, Jess.Montejano@sfgov.org
- Sarah Anders, Communications Director, New York City Council Member Ben Kallos, 617-279-3964, Sanders@BenKallos.com
About the Free Law Founders
Citizens, technologists and public officials working together to transform state & local lawmaking for the 21st Century
The Free Law Founders is a nation-wide, collaborative effort open to all people who want to improve how laws and legislation are produced and presented to citizens of American states and cities. Our goal is to modernize how democracy works in the United States from the ground up. To get there, we’re creating open source tools and open data formats government workers need to get their jobs done efficiently, effectively and accountably.