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.
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
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.
- Thank you to SuperFriendly and Dan Mall for Madison 4.0’s gorgeous, responsive citizen experience.
- Thank you to Seth Etter and Tanner Doshier on our engineering team for their unparalleled development work, serious time investment and creative excellence.
- Thank you to these key contributors of code, ideas and civic engagement experience: the Smart Chicago Collaborative, the Sunlight Foundation, What Works Cities/Bloomberg Philanthropies, Congressman Seth Moulton, and the people of Nashville (TN) for being the first community to be governing better— together— with Madison 4.0.
- Thank you to the allies who have made Madison 4.0, and all its earlier versions, possible. Without the sustained support and fellowship of these amazing organizations, The OpenGov Foundation and Madison wouldn’t be here today: the John S and James L Knight Foundation, the Rita Allen Foundation, the Shuttleworth Foundation, the Consumer Technology Association, the Democracy Fund, and the Issa Family Foundation.