Governing Gets Easier with Madison 4.0

The right to petition government is at the heart of our representative democracy. Every citizen has the fundamental right to access government information, meaningfully engage with their elected officials, and be heard on the decisions that impact their lives, families and businesses.

But everyone knows civic engagement today is often anything but easy or meaningful. Citizens are rightfully frustrated. Elected officials and their staff are overworked and overwhelmed. Engaging with your elected officials and being truly listened to as those representatives craft policy should be the easiest civic thing to do in our Internet Age, not the hardest. Making meaningful engagement at scale easier for everyone— from Congressional staff to community stakeholders to individual Americans— is why The OpenGov Foundation exists. That has always been the promise of the United States, and our dream for democracy.

The dream is one step closer to reality. Today, we are proud to share Madison 4.0 with you and your community. With this release, Madison is now far easier for citizens, stakeholders and their elected officials to use as they seek to govern better, together.


See Syracuse (NY) Governing with Madison 4.0 

Madison 4.0 Release Highlights

Madison now sports a new design, refreshed user experience, and massive technical improvements that benefit all of our users.  Elected officials and staff want more successful engagement and more eyes in their work with less friction. Citizens want a more intuitive, productive and inclusive engagement experience. Technologists want intuitive software, useful documentation, and a clear path to participation. In each case, Madison 4.0 delivers.

Better for Elected Officials & Staff

Madison is now entirely self-service for elected officials and their staff to start and sustain public engagements with ease.

  • A new onboarding workflow walks first-time government policy document sponsors through a faster signup process.
  • A refreshed guide to successful engagement assists you in everything from document formatting to public outreach to best practices for the broadest possible public participation.
  • More robust moderation tools assuage concerns over unproductive, unhealthy discourse.
  • And the radically better notification systems ensure that elected representatives and their teams never miss an opportunity to listen, engage and respond.

Better for Citizens

Citizen-users win big with Madison 4.0, with streamlined access, simpler navigation and all the discussion and debate in one place. We invite you to take Madison for a test drive to experience these enhancements for yourself.

Better for Technologists

For technologists who want to go under the hood, Madison is much simpler and more stable. The JavaScript-heavy front end has been replaced with a traditional server-side rendering through a vanilla Laravel application. This significantly reduces runtime errors, makes Madison easier to maintain, and lowers the barrier to new contributors. These technical improvements build off the 3.0 release, which made it ridiculously easy to launch your own Madison instance.

Our Gratitude

Like a healthy representative democracy, Madison 4.0 is the product of deep collaboration and the collected experience of many. We would like to thank every single Madison user, government official and civil society ally who has helped the software flourish and helped our team get to where it is today. Special thanks, however, are in order.