San Francisco Becomes America’s Second ‘Open Law’ City, Launching New Online Platform that Makes the City’s Charter and Codes Accessible and User-Friendly for Everyone
San Francisco, CA (September 26, 2013) – The non-partisan, non-profit OpenGov Foundation is proud to announce the launch of SanFranciscoCode.org, a free online platform that empowers every San Francisco resident to discover, access and use local laws on their terms, when they want and how they want. Powered by modern website design and the latest open data innovations, SanFranciscoCode.org makes the single most important information in the city – the law itself – fully available and useful to citizens for the first time, without barriers or restrictions. This new legal access platform is built upon coder-friendly law data announced today by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.
With the launch of SanFranciscoCode.org, the city becomes America’s second “Open Law City,” following the July debut of BaltimoreCode.org. It is the second municipal deployment of the State Decoded open law project, with a number of other major cities and states under development by the OpenGov Foundation. Earlier this year, the state of Maryland became the third Open Law state when the OpenGov team worked with state officials to liberate the Maryland Code of Public Laws at MarylandCode.org. The State Decoded code is available – at $0 cost – on Github.com.
“The law is the single most important data set that exists in San Francisco, yet it has been the hardest for residents and job creators to find, access and use when they need it most,” said OpenGov Executive Director Seamus Kraft. “SanFranciscoCode.org is a big step towards removing those frustrating barriers that still exist, increasing access, enhancing usability and removing restrictions for all people, from everyday citizens to civic hackers and city officials. Democratic communities thrive when everyone has equal information and the chance to act on it. That’s the goal of SanFranciscoCode.org.”
The State Decoded is an open-source software platform developed to display states’ and cities’ law codes, judicial opinions, rules and regulations in the most modern, user-friendly and accessible way possible. The free platform was originally developed in 2010 by Waldo Jaquith thanks to a generous grant from the Knight Foundation. The State Decoded has since grown to include the Maryland, Virginia, and Florida codes. Committed to using taxpayer dollars effectively and efficiently, the OpenGov and State Decoded teams have partnered to liberate the law online in every state, county, city and town in America…at little-to-no cost to citizens or governments.
Seamus Kraft, OpenGov Executive Director & Handyman
Jay Nath, San Francisco Chief Innovation Officer
Quick Links & Crucial Clicks
- The City of San Francisco’s unstructured laws on Github
- Bulk downloads of San Francisco’s structured law data via SanFranciscoCode.org
- SanFranciscoCode.org APIs and documentation
- The State Decoded open-source software project on Github
- Background on Operation Decode SF
- The City of San Francisco’s Open Law Portal