News

June 8th, 2017

Federal News Radio: Congress Inches to Modern Tech

“The technology with which Congress does its own business could stand some attention, according to Seamus Kraft, executive director of the Opengov Foundation. One example: A modern legislative processing system capable of producing documents that show only the changes in bills that update earlier laws.”


June 5th, 2017

Federal News Radio: Modernizing Congress-Congress limps along with a technological handicap

“Lost in the partisan fighting on Capitol Hill, lost in the efforts to solve some of our nation’s greatest challenges is how important [Congress] is,” said Seamus Kraft, co-founder and Executive Director of The Opengov Foundation. “Technology has become the critical infrastructure of our daily lives, of our social lives, and our educational lives — but it hasn’t come to government yet. It’s not anybody’s fault.  This has been a problem that’s been growing for two decades.”


June 4th, 2017

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. … Continue reading Governing Gets Easier with Madison 4.0


May 31st, 2017

Lincoln Network: Reboot Congress 2017 Recap

There is a bipartisan movement to create a modern, digital-first and effective United States Congress coming together. At Reboot Congress 2017, Congressional leaders and better government advocates like us and our friends at Lincoln Network joined together to discuss and game-plan how to best upgrade America’s First Branch of government. Learn more in this excellent recap from Lincoln’s Garrett Johnson.


May 30th, 2017

Federal News Radio: Understanding Congress’ Growing IT Crisis

Congress is in the middle of a slow-motion HealthCare.gov-style crisis. It’s critical infrastructure–software, IT systems, digital services and staffing–is crumbling, making it hard to engage with your Member of Congress, hard for staff to listen and respond to you, and hard for Congress to function like it needs to.

Seamus Kraft, The OpenGov Foundation Executive Director, sat down with Federal News Radio to discuss Congress’ growing IT challenges, their impact on Members, staff and citizens, and what is being done to build the world-class Congress America needs.


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


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