News

May 26th, 2017

New Twilio.org Impact Fund Supporting The OpenGov Foundation

“The OpenGov Foundation makes it easier for citizens to see, shape and understand their government while helping elected officials meaningfully engage at scale with their constituents, delivering digital democracy with open-source tools that will now include Twilio-powered phone calls with Congress.”


April 27th, 2017

Syracuse (NY) Post-Standard Editorial: ‘Open data’ a good move for Syracuse government transparency

“Here’s some good news on government transparency. The city of Syracuse is developing an “open data” policy [powered by Madison and citizen engagement] that would require city agencies to routinely post statistics and other information on the internet for all to see and to use…We welcome the change.” – Syracuse (NY) Post-Standard Editorial Board


April 17th, 2017

Syracuse (NY) Post-Standard: City Hall wants to make it easier for people to look at its data

The City of Syracuse, NY now governing better-together-with its residents, powered by Madison.


March 28th, 2017

The First Sunshine Week of the New Administration

“Seamus Kraft, executive director of the OpenGov Foundation, began by reminding the audience that the best ways for the public to engage with their representatives in Congress are in person or via telephone, which are methods from the 1950s. He said the legislative branch needs 21st-century technology to better facilitate this contact. Congressional offices are experiencing increased constituent correspondence while member office budgets endure cuts.

“The House of Representatives spent more than $200 million last year on technology, so it’s not the amount spent, but the technology itself that is woefully inadequate. The OpenGov Foundation’s solution is a Congressional Digital Service, similar to the executive branch’s U.S. Digital Service, to diagnose the problems. No one knows the appropriate response time to a constituent correspondence made via social media or the telephone. Kraft believes that we’ll see a Congressional Digital Service in this Congress and recommends that it sit outside partisan politics—for example, in the Library of Congress.”


March 25th, 2017

Harvard University #CodingItForward: A Conversation with Seamus Kraft, Co-Founder of The OpenGov Foundation

“More and more people are waking up to the fact that the executive is never your voice in government — it’s all the legislature! You need your legislature to represent your views in government. How do you change government in the digital age? The answer is that it’s a full-spectrum operation. It’s not just through technology, or policy, but rather both. A new app is almost always not the right solution. Unless it has a corresponding means of improving the internal functioning of government, it’s only going to make the problem worse. We need to change how governments work from the bottom up. It’s not just through better tech but better policy, rules, and resourcing.” – Seamus Kraft, Co-Founder of The OpenGov Foundation, in conversation with Harvard University’s #CodingItForward


March 21st, 2017

Civic Engagement Snapshots— On Trump Budget, Massachusetts Engages Directly with Congressman Seth Moulton

When President Donald Trump published his first federal budget proposal last week, Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) knew the people he represents would have a lot to say. Click Snapshots in this post to read in Madison and join the conversation with Rep. Moulton As their voice in the United States House of Representatives, it is … Continue reading Civic Engagement Snapshots— On Trump Budget, Massachusetts Engages Directly with Congressman Seth Moulton


March 17th, 2017

Sunlight Foundation: “Today in OpenGov-Congress Needs a Digital Service”

Congress needs a digital service to modernize and restore public trust. Seamus Kraft, Executive Director of the OpenGov Foundation, made the case for a congressional digital service at a Sunshine Week event on Monday. According to Kraft, “a congressional digital service team…[could] help Congress identify their tech problems and take advantage of…[existing tools] to reverse declining public trust by improving congressional business processes and civic engagement.”


March 16th, 2017

Top Ten James Madison Quotes to Celebrate His 266th Birthday

Today is President James Madison’s 266th birthday.  Known as the “Father of the Constitution,” he is near and dear to our hearts here at The OpenGov Foundation— our collaborative policymaking software bears his name.  President Madison, like our Madison, believed that in America, governing better means governing together, with all voices heard and all perspectives … Continue reading Top Ten James Madison Quotes to Celebrate His 266th Birthday


March 14th, 2017

Statement on U.S. Digital Service Co-Founder Haley Van Dyck Returning to Serve in the Trump Administration

“There are few who understand how to modernize federal information technology systems and culture better than Haley Van Dyck. As a co-founder of USDS, she intimately knows the organization, the people and the problems they are solving. As a civic tech leader, she knows how to get it done in one of the most challenging environments on earth. As a public servant, she is setting an unparalleled example that, no matter who occupies the Oval Office, talented individuals need to put aside partisanship to help deliver fantastic digital services for our fellow Americans— inside and outside government.” – Seamus Kraft, Executive Director of The OpenGov Foundation


March 13th, 2017

Sunlight Foundation: How to Invite Feedback on An Open Data Policy

we wanted to use a platform that was as inclusive and as intuitive as possible. We wanted to ensure it was very easy for the public to provide feedback. At first we considered putting it up on Github and using Github comments, but eventually we landed on the Madison platform which is a product of the OpenGov Foundation. Drafts.dc.gov (an instance of Madison) was created as a part of this effort.

Madison was better for us because it meant people who care about government data but may not be technologists (think reporters, or people who file a lot of FOIA requests) don’t have to create a Github account or figure out what a pull request is in order to weigh in. Madison was also already in use in DC. Councilmember Grosso’s office had piloted and it was gracious to allow us to port their copy of Madison to the Drafts.dc.gov domain so we could build off their efforts.


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