The Participatory Politics Foundation and the Sunlight Foundation launched OpenGovernment.org yesterday to track government data, state legislatures, voting information and media mentions on the state level. Currently, information is available for California, Texas, Wisconsin, Louisiana and Maryland with funding efforts in place to bring the project to all 50 states.
"We’re providing a concentrated activity stream that offers a more calibrated way of staying in touch with state government," said David Moore, executive director of the Participatory Politics Foundation. "We believe in the power of peer-to-peer communications, which means connecting with people online and empowering them to share information with one another."
The idea, said Moore, is simple in conception but difficult in execution: create a free, open source platform where “it’s as easy to follow your state senator as it is to follow your friends on Facebook.”
To get to launch today, the team rewrote the code base for OpenCongress, including an improved Ruby wrapper for open government APIs. The code for the wrapper is available through GitHub. Official legislative information is integrated with Follow the Money, ratings, news and blog information.