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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 Rep. Moulton’s job to listen to and engage directly with those who live and work in Massachusetts’ Sixth Congressional District.  But time and staff are tight, and there are more than 700,000 individuals whose views Moulton must represent.  


So what did Rep. Moulton do to? He posted the Trump Budget online here in Madison so that his constituents could share their personal stories, ask questions and propose their own ideas.  


Many of those engaging with Rep. Moulton are very worried about the impact of President Trump’s budget proposal on their lives, their access to healthcare, their jobs.



One mother shared how important publicly-funded television and arts programs were to raising her children, among other targeted concerns with the Trump budget.


Since March 16, more than 110 constituents have weighed in and joined the critical conversation with their man in Washington, D.C.  Shouldn’t all federal government policies that impact you, your family or your livelihood be open for your input like this?  That’s our goal here at The OpenGov Foundation.  Rep. Moulton has it right: this is what governing better— together— with Madison looks like.


Have something to say about the Trump Budget?  Join the conversation with Congressman Seth Moulton in Madison!


Top Ten James Madison Quotes to Celebrate His 266th Birthday

James Madison Birthday Card

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

To mark his birthday, we’ve collected some of our favorite James Madison quotes below.  They inspire us, challenge us and remind us that, while we may be working with modern technology and systems, it’s the people and their fundamental rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that matter most.  Enjoy!

  • “The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty” – Letter to George Thompson, June 30, 1825
  • “There is not a more important and fundamental principle in legislation, than that the ways and means ought always to face the public.” Speech to Congress, April 22, 1790
  • “A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” – Letter to W.T. Barry, August 4, 1822
  • “Equal laws protecting equal rights are the best guarantee of loyalty and love of country.” – Letter to Jacob de la Motta, August 1820
  • “A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government” – Federalist No. 51, February 8, 1788
  • “Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm.” – Federalist No. 10, November 23, 1787
  • “The right of freely examining public characters and measures, and of free communication among the people thereon … has ever been justly deemed the only effectual guardian of every other right.” – Virginia Resolutions, December 21, 1798
  • “What spectacle can be more edifying or more seasonable, than that of Liberty and Learning, each leaning on the other for their mutual & surest support?” – Letter to W.T. Barry, August 4, 1822
  • “Public opinion sets bounds to every government, and is the real sovereign in every free one.” – Public Opinion, December 19, 1791
  • “Such will be the relation between the House of Representatives and their constituents. Duty gratitude, interest, ambition itself, are the cords by which they will be bound to fidelity and sympathy with the great mass of the people.” – Federalist No. 57, February 19, 1788



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

CONTACT: Mary Kate Mezzetti, | +1-508-776-2789

WASHINGTON, DC (March 14, 2017) — The OpenGov Foundation today released the following statement from Executive Director Seamus Kraft on the news that Haley Van Dyck, who co-founded the U.S. Digital Service (USDS) under President Barack Obama, is returning to serve at USDS under President Donald Trump.  Van Dyck joins the innovative technology team led by Acting Administrator Matt Cutts:

“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.

“As The OpenGov Foundation continues our push for a sorely needed Congressional Digital Service, we will keep watching and learning from Haley’s pioneering efforts at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.  And as a taxpayer, I am deeply grateful that someone with the courage, creativity and kindness of Haley Van Dyck is on the job ensuring that every single day, the federal government is getting better with tech, design and data.  Thank you, Haley.”