Category Archives: Announcement

We’re Hiring. Ask Us Anything!

The OpenGov Foundation team is growing!  We are seeking a talented, creative and kind team-builder to help lead The OGF as Deputy Executive Director & Chief of Staff.  

All candidates deserve clear answers, maximum openness and as inclusive a hiring process as possible.  That is very important to us.  As you engage with us and consider applying, we want to give you— and any prospective team member— the chance to learn as much as possible up front.  

That’s why we’re hosting an open Twitter Q&A session tomorrow on the main OGF account: @OpenGovFdn with the hashtag #OpenGovJobs.  

The Q&A will take place tomorrow, June 14, from 1-2 PM EST (10-11 AM PST).  

How are we thinking about the role?  What is it like to work at The OGF?  Where we are headed?  Plus, anything that will help you learn about our team and visualize yourself in the role. The floor will be yours, with our full team at your service!

If you cannot wait until tomorrow, you don’t have to.  Before or after the open Twitter Q&A, we welcome the chance to engage with you @OpenGovFdn and get your questions answered.  If you would like to ask something privately, please email us at SayHello@OpenGovFoundation.org or text us at +1-760-659-0631.

Check out the Deputy Executive Director & Chief of Staff opportunity.  Get your questions ready.  And see you tomorrow on Twitter!

What: Twitter Q&A on The OGF’s Deputy ED & Chief of Staff Position

Who: The OGF Team

Where: On Twitter— @OpenGovFdn and with #OpenGovJobs

When: Wednesday, June 14th from 1-2 PM EST (10-11 AM PST)

Info: Click here to review the position description

Tweet to Share: Click here to help spread the word. Thank you!

Contact: @OpenGovFdn | SayHello@OpenGovFoundation.org | +1-760-659-0631

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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. 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-Syracuse

See Syracuse (NY) Governing with Madison 4.0 

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

For technologists who want to go under the hood, Madison is much simpler and more stable. The JavaScript-heavy front end has been replaced with a traditional server-side rendering through a vanilla Laravel application. This significantly reduces runtime errors, makes Madison easier to maintain, and lowers the barrier to new contributors. These technical improvements build off the 3.0 release, which made it ridiculously easy to launch your own Madison instance.

Our Gratitude

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.

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

CONTACT: Mary Kate Mezzetti, marykate@opengovfoundation.org | +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.”

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Statement on Internet Archive Offer to Deliver Free and Perpetual Public Access to PACER

STATEMENT FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

February 14, 2017

CONTACT: Mary Kate Mezzetti, marykate@opengovfoundation.org | +1-508-776-2789

WASHINGTON, DC (February 14, 2017) — The OpenGov Foundation today released the following statement from Executive Director Seamus Kraft on the Internet Archive’s offer to “archive and host— for free, forever and without restriction on access to the public— all records contained in [the Public Access to Court Electronic Records platform],” commonly known as PACER.  Right now, PACER charges the public per-page fees to access online these critical public judicial records, which undercuts PACER’s stated mission to deliver the best possible public access.  Public information freedom-fighter Aaron Swartz fought to liberate public court records from behind the problematic PACER paywall before his tragic passing:

“The vital public information in PACER is the property of the American people.  Public information, from laws to court records, should never be locked away behind paywalls, never be stashed behind arbitrary barriers and never be covered in artificial restrictions.  Forcing Americans to pay hard-earned money to access public court records is no better than forcing them to pay a poll tax.

“The Internet Archive’s offer to archive and deliver unrestricted public access to PACER for free and forever is the best possible Valentine’s Day gift to the American people.  The Internet Archive is proposing a cost-effective and innovative public-private partnership that will finally fix a clear injustice.  There is no reason to do anything but accept this offer in a heartbeat.”

PACER is hosted and maintained by the Administrative office of the U.S. Courts and is the main public access program for all federal appellate, district and bankruptcy court case and docket information.  The offer to host PACER at no cost to American taxpayers was made by Internet Archive Founder Brewster Kahle in a February 10, 2017 letter to the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, which is today hosting a hearing on the issue.

 

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Statement on U.S. District Court Decision Allowing Private Copyright Holders to Continue Restricting Public Access to the Public Law

STATEMENT FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

February 9th, 2017

CONTACT

Mary Kate Mezzetti

marykate@opengovfoundation.org | +1 (508) 776-2789

WASHINGTON, DC (February 9th, 2017The OpenGov Foundation today released the following statement from Executive Director Seamus Kraft on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruling that allows private standards organizations to continue restricting public access to critical elements of the public law.  The federal court decision against Public.Resource.Org, long-time advocates for the public’s right to know the laws under which they must live, upheld a copyright claim by private parties over the critical components of the public safety laws of the United States— public safety laws such as building codes, fire codes and electrical codes:

“Everyone should agree that the code of law is the bedrock of American society. Our country is governed by laws, not men-and certainly not private companies. In fact, our country was founded on the principle that everyone has a right to know the law, to access it freely, debate it and engage with it where they want and how they want.  Any artificial barriers or restrictions or paywalls erected between citizens and their own laws erode our most basic civil rights, undercut our democracy and must be removed by any means necessary.

“The U.S. District Court could have decided to strengthen public access to the law.  It could have removed a patently artificial barrier standing between citizens and their right to know the law.  It could have secured a basic civil right for all Americans.  It did not.

“Make no mistake: this copyright catastrophe will end soon enough, whether through the courts or Congressional action. Smart leaders of private standards bodies should recognize that reality and acknowledge that public safety is everybody’s business, that public safety codes created by thousands of dedicated volunteers are meant to be the law, and that rationing access to the law is not only anti-democratic, but harms public safety.”

 

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Ceiling and Visibility Unlimited with Aaron Ogle Joining The OpenGov Foundation

“When I was a Navy pilot back there a thousand years ago, flying in the Pacific in 1944, we had a saying that some pilots still use today called CAVU— Ceiling And Visibility Unlimited. That applies to my life today. I’ve been blessed with so many challenges, failed in some, succeeded in others, but ceiling and visibility unlimited, that’s the way I feel about life itself…”

— President George HW Bush, 2008 Bryant University Commencement Address 


By Seamus Kraft

Imagine our democracy as an enormous airplane. It feels like the last few years have been one long stretch of civic turbulence. Everyone feels a little uncertain, unsettled, upset. No party, no place and no organization has had a bump-free ride. That very much includes our team here at The OpenGov Foundation (OGF).

When life tests us, it is how we choose to respond that matters. Like many in the civic tech world, we’ve had to make some very difficult  decisions. We’re scathed, but standing tall. We believe, like President George HW Bush, that the path before us is clear, and the possibilities at hand are unlimited. Each of us is now stronger, more resilient. Our team— from our staff to our board to our partners and advisors— is stronger too, more energized, prepared and committed to our critical mission of helping communities and residents govern better. This airplane belongs to all of us, and everyone in America deserves a voice in where we’re flying.

At The OGF, we’re rebuilding an enormously  important part of this great airship called democracy: our legislatures, from the smallest town to the Chicago City Council to the United States Congress. We’re doing it while airborne. Yet we can’t land. And we definitely can’t crash. But if we’ve learned nothing else during these turbulent times, it is this: building democracy is a massive undertaking— and The OGF can’t do it alone.

Now more than ever, we need to devote more resources to renovating our legislatures. We need more brilliant, curious, kind and creative engineers redesigning and refitting the engines of our democracy, so that together we can restore the rapidly eroding trust eating away at our communities, our country, and ourselves. That’s the real problem, the real source of the turbulence everyone feels. That is a very special problem that calls for a very special kind of engineer.

Aaron Ogle is that special kind of engineer. More importantly, he’s that special kind of person. He is scathed and experienced like we are, and in the best possible way. He’s been grappling with challenges like ours from the day he walked into the first class of Code for America Fellows as a good developer, walking out as a supremely talented civic technologist. From there, Aaron built and led and nurtured great teams of civic-minded technologists, designers, public servants, as Chief Technology Officer of OpenPlans then as Director of Civic Technology for the City of Philadelphia, PA. Remarkably, throughout Aaron has remained not just enthusiastic, but deeply and contagiously passionate about using his gifts to help people lead better, healthier and happier civic lives.

Today, I am honored to announce that he has joined The OGF team as Director of Product. He will be leading The OGF’s product efforts as we create the open, effective and inclusive legislatures we need, with— not for— the real people living and serving and solving real civic problems in real communities across America.

Aaron officially started last Monday. The whole OGF team traveled to his home base of Philadelphia to welcome him for his first two days. We were then on to Chicago for the rest of the week, already back to upgrading the engines of democracy in that fine city alongside our expert co-pilots in City Clerk Susana A. Mendoza’s office and on the Chicago City Council. As the Executive Director, seeing Aaron and our developers jump right in with Team @ChiCityClerk was a joyous, affirming and empowering experience for which I would trade nothing on earth. And this is only the takeoff.

Everyone onboard our democracy— you, your neighbors, your elected officials, everyone— wants these turbulent times transformed into a smoother civic flight. Put another way, everyone has a major stake in the successful transformation of our legislatures into the 21st Century governing institutions we lack, and so sorely need. With Aaron Ogle as part of The OGF family, we’re already closer to turning off the seatbelt signs, free once more to move about the cabin so that America can fly faster and truer into the unimaginably bright, clear and limitless future before us all.

Seamus Kraft is Executive Director and co-founder of The OpenGov Foundation.

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Tweet to Win a Free Legislative Upgrade for Your Community with the Madison 3.0 Launch Contest

1. On Thursday, September 8, tweet @FoundOpenGov with your vision for better government, powered by Madison.

2. Get lots of likes, RTs and @ replies.

3. Win a free 30-minutes-or-less upgrade to Internet-Age policymaking with Madison 3.0.

Bonus: We film the whole thing to show you how easy it is to start governing better, together, with Madison!

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 8, 2016) — To mark The OpenGov Foundation’s release today of Madison 3.0, we are offering one lucky legislature, elected official or community-based group the chance to go from 0— today’s out-dated paper-based policymaking— to governing better, together, with Madison.  To win the Madison 3.0 Launch Contest and your own instance of Madison, all you have to do is send at least one Tweet between the hours of 7 AM and 10 PM EST tomorrow that includes The OpenGov Foundation’s Twitter handle, @FoundOpenGov, along with your vision for a brighter, smarter and easier policymaking future with the support of Madison.  Below are some example Tweets from our Executive Director to get your creative juices flowing.

 

The Tweet with the most action— “likes,” “retweets,” and “public replies”— at the end of the contest wins a free paper-to-digital transformation, which thanks to the enhancements contained in Madison 3.0, will take as little as 30 minutes.  The civic tech cherry on top?  We’ll film our talented team of technologists from start to finish so you can show the world just how easy it is to radically upgrade civic engagement, while leading the charge to more efficient, effective and open government where you live.  

Every U.S. government policymaking entity is eligible. Whether your favorite legislature is local, county, state or federal, all need an Internet Age upgrade.  All are eligible to win tomorrow’s Madison 3.0 Launch Contest.

 

The Madison 3.0 Launch Contest Instructions

Tweet. Share Your Better Government Vision. Win Madison for Your Community

From 7 AM-10 PM EST on September 9, 2016, you can win a free Madison 3.0 setup for your state, local or county legislature, plus our expert assistance launching your first collaborative policymaking initiative, plus a custom video of the as little-as-30-minute legislative transformation.  All you have to do is:

  1. Tweet @FoundOpenGov to tell us how your community will govern better, together, with Madison starting at 7 AM EST tomorrow.  
  2. Enlist your networks to get as many “likes” and “retweets” as possible for your vision of a better, tech-powered governing future.
  3. Rinse. Retweet. Repeat. You can enter as many Tweets as you’d like between 7 AM and 10 PM EST tomorrow!

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I tweet @FoundOpenGov with my better government vision before 7 AM, or after 10 PM EST, tomorrow?

  • Tweets sent before or after the contest will likely be RTed, liked and maybe even loved, but unfortunately, aren’t eligible for the top prize.

Will you really help my community go from 0 to Madison in as little as 30 minutes?

What if I win but Madison doesn’t have every policymaking, public access or civic engagement feature I can dream of?  Do I get a refund?

  • We will fully refund the Tweets of all unsatisfied Madison 3.0 Launch Contest entrants.  For a refund, please send your Tweet in a self-addressed stamped envelope to: The OpenGov Foundation, Attn: Madison 3.0 Launch Content Refund, 1875 Connecticut Ave, NW, 10th Floor Washington, D.C. 20009.  You could also share your must-have feature request with The OpenGov Foundation tech team here on Github for inclusion in a future Madison release; even better, you could build it yourself, submit a pull request here, and work with us to make your idea a reality.  Just a thought.

What if I am not an elected official, government worker, community-based organization, or civic technologist?  May I still enter the Madison 3.0 Launch Contest?

  • Yes! If you don’t fall into one of those groups above, so what? You’re still a taxpaying citizen with great ideas who cares about your community so much that you got off the couch, got on Twitter, and got engaged. We’ll work with you to find the right folks in government, the right people in your local civic technology community, and the right policy ideas to get rolling governing better, together with Madison. (You do, however, still have to get the most action on your Tweets!)

How much is the Madison 3.0 Launch Contest winning prize worth?

  • You really can’t put a price on better government. 

I thought Madison was open source software. Can’t I just go to Github, copy the code, and stand up my own version?

  • Right again!  You seem like a savvy, civically-minded developer who could probably work with our savvy, civically-minded developers and/or your local Code for America Brigade to stand up a savvy instance of our SAVVY MADISON OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE in, oh, about the running time of a savvy Seinfeld episode.  Savvy?

What if I don’t want to upgrade my legislature to the Internet Age? What if I really like paper and inefficiency, and really hate openness and technology?

  • Then the Madison 3.0 Launch Contest probably isn’t for you.

Who can we thank for Madison 3.0?

  • Madison 3.0, and all of the work of The OpenGov Foundation, is generously supported by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Shuttleworth Foundation, the Rita Allen Foundation, the Consumer Technology Association, and the amazing men and women with whom The OpenGov Foundation partners in communities, governments and civil society organizations across America.
  • The real talent behind Madison 3.0 who deserve the most thanks: our world-class developers and designers, past and present.  On the development side: Seth Etter, Tanner Doshier, Bill Hunt, Chris Birk, Ross Tsiomenko, Sean Keefer, inSourceCode, and all the open source contributors listed here.  On the design side: John Athayde, Scout Addis, and Bryan Connor.  On the operations and engagement side: Meag Doherty, Aaron Bartnick, Nicko Margolies, Leili Slutz, and Mary Kate Mezzetti.  All rockstars. All civic innovators.  All amazing people who made Madison 3.0 possible.

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ADVISORY: Celebrate the Start of Global Legislative Openness Week with The OpenGov Foundation, Sunlight Foundation and the National Democratic Institute

Don’t miss the September 12th discussion on legislative openness, priorities for the 115th Congress,

and current parliamentary modernization efforts in the United States and around the world.

Contacts

Meag Doherty, Meag@opengovfoundation.org

Greg Brown, gbrown@ndi.org

WASHINGTON, DC (September 7, 2016) – To kick off 2016 Global Legislative Openness Week on September 12, 2016, The OpenGov Foundation’s Executive Director Seamus Kraft will help lead a critical discussion at the OpenGov Hub in Washington, D.C. at 10 AM EST on the state of America’s most important government entities: our legislatures.  Co-sponsored by The Sunlight Foundation and the National Democratic Institute, the discussion will be webcast live, and is open to the public and to journalists.  Click here for more event information and to RSVP, and click here to learn more about the Open Government Partnership’s Global Legislative Openness week.

From the Chicago City Council to the United States Congress, innovation is afoot and positive change is happening.  Join Seamus, The Sunlight Foundation, the National Democratic Institute and more to learn both the latest from the frontlines of opening legislatures, what modernization recommendations are at the top of the list for the 115th U.S. Congress that kicks off in January 2017, and how you can get involved.  

What: “Openness and the 115th Congress: Civil Society Priorities and Projects”

With elections quickly approaching, GLOW provides an opportunity to reflect on both recent efforts to open Congress to the public and priorities for the 115th Congress. This panel of leading domestic civil society experts will introduce their work and identify the most important openness issues to be addressed in the 115th Congress.

When: Monday, September 12, 2016 at 10 AM EST

Where: The OpenGov Hub, 1110 Vermont Avenue Northwest #500, Washington, DC 20005

How to Attend: Click here to RSVP

 

 

 

Dear Elected Officials of America: Help Is On the Way with Madison 3.0

An open letter to America’s elected officials and staff on the release of Madison 3.0.

Dear Elected Representatives and Staff:

Public service today is no cakewalk. On the best days, it is insanely difficult to work in a legislature; on most days, success is virtually impossible. You and your colleagues signed up to represent the public’s views in government, helping to build a stronger community for your neighbors and a brighter future for your kids. That’s one of the most critical jobs on earth. It is also one of the most difficult.

Ask yourself: do you have everything you need to be the best elected representative possible? Enough staff? Enough time? The best possible systems, tools and technology?

If you answered yes, you are the luckiest elected official in the world.  But if you answered no, then you need to know about today’s release of the new-and-improved Madison online policymaking software.

Madison-Tutorial-Screen-Shot

WATCH: Governing Better, Together, With Madison

Madison is lawmaking for the Internet Age, built by our world-class team of technologists here at The OpenGov Foundation to help you, your staff and your constituents govern better, together.  Madison, first launched in 2011, has already helped the U.S. Congress to protect a free and open Internet from special-interests— SOPA— while helping hundreds of thousands of everyday Americans see, shape and understand it all.  Madison has already helped deliver the first crowdsourced legislation in the history of the U.S. Congress— The OPEN ACT— and first crowdsourced law in the history of the federal government— The DATA Act, signed into law by President Barack Obama in May 2014.  Madison has already helped the Obama White House create its playbook for public participation.  Madison has already helped diverse communities from Washington, D.C. — Drafts.DC.Gov— to Wichita, K.S. — Drafts.Wichita.Gov— create smarter laws, working with residents and stakeholders, not in spite of or against them.  

The common thread?  Forward-thinking policymakers and staff like you who understand, to put it lightly, the significant limitations of paper-based policymaking— and who know that there are better ways to get the job done.  Because right now, your entire government, policymaking process and your work as a public servant can only go so far as the paper at the center of it all.  Until your legislature, legislative systems and legislative data are in step with our times— digital instead of paper-based, collaborative instead of combative, efficient and effective instead of gridlocked and always playing catch-up— you, your staff, your community and your constituents will continue to be frustrated.  Stick with your paper-based legislature, and you won’t be able to achieve everything you set out to do when you and your family decided to enter public service. It’s that simple.

Let’s be honest: in an age of Google Docs and the iPhone, paper-based legislatures should be a thing of the past.  And we both know the coming transformation of your legislature— all legislatures, regulatory bodies, and all of the critical information flowing through them— will take a lot of work.  A seismic operational shift like this takes money, know-how, time and trust. Four things that are in outrageously short supply, whether you serve in the United States Congress or a small city council. You need to rebuild your paper-based legislative airplane while it’s flying. But it can’t land and it definitely can’t crash.  You’ll need a lot of help.  With Madison, you can get started upgrading today, for free, with our trusted team, our proven approach and our years of experience working in and around legislatures across America.  

Together, we can modernize and upgrade your policymaking process with Madison in as little as 30 minutes. It really is that straight-forward.  I repeat: say the word and in as little as 30 minutes your community will go from governing like this…

160905-Paperbased-Legislature-at-Work

…to governing better, together, like this.

Madison-3.0

I know you’re busy, so let’s get down to brass tacks: what’s in it for you, your team, your legislature and your constituents?  With Madison and the support of our team at The OpenGov Foundation, you will:

  1. Gain More Support and Visibility for Your Policy Goals — Transforming your legislation into Madison’s modern, Internet-ready and collaborative experience requires just a few minutes. But it turns the hard-to-find, hard-to-share paper-based policies you are working so hard to pass into a digital engagement experience. Your constituents can find it on Google! They can share their views and ideas with a few clicks! Isn’t that how it should be? Madison is a one-stop-shop for you to respond — and show the world you’re responsive — while at the same time building new support, new allies and new contacts.
  2. Not Need to Buy Anything, Bust Your Budget or Hire Tech Teams — Madison is 100% free and open source software. Yes, that means $0 cost. How? We’re an IRS-certified 501©3 non-profit. Our mission is to make your legislature more effective, efficient and accessible for you, your colleagues and those you represent. You have plenty of options, too. We can host Madison for your community. We can set it up on your legislature’s servers, too. Whatever works best for you, your team and your current situation.
  3. Create Smarter Policy, Putting All the World’s Knowledge and Expertise to Work for You — Every day, the issues you have to work on get more and more complex. Delivering the best policy for your people requires a dizzying array of technical, issue-specific knowledge and expertise. You do not want to make mistakes. Opening your policymaking process with Madison opens up all of the world’s knowledge and a virtually unlimited army of experts ready and willing to help you get it right. Look at how Chicago, IL is working with universities, innovators and its residents to craft smart policy on the Internet of Things, or how Washington, D.C. is working with open data experts to build cutting-edge rules for public access to government data. Imagine if you had that intellectual firepower in your foxhole? That’s what Madison can do for you.
  4. Rebuild Trust and Confidence in Your Legislature, Yourself and Your Community — Let’s be frank: you know and I know that you and your colleagues, and every legislator in America, is working with far less public trust than you need. Today’s Gallup polling shows that a paltry 18% approve of how the U.S. Congress is doing its lawmaking job. While you hopefully have a more public support than that, you’ll need a lot more public trust and confidence in order to solve our multiplying challenges. Create your policies with Madison, and the trust in your policies go up. No fear of smoke- and special-interest-filled rooms — you can show your work and your reasoning openly, and stand behind it. No frustrations about not being able to take a day off of work to show up and be heard — your constituents, business and community leaders, experts, everyone can weigh in 24/7. Madison means fewer avoidable legislative mistakes, fewer unintended consequences, and fewer surprises for the people you represent — who will soon decide who will represent them moving forward. You already post your legislation online, albeit in rather inaccessible, paper-based and hard-to-find ways. Why not reap the public benefit and earn the public trust by doing the same thing, but way better, with Madison?

I invite you to see Madison 3.0 in action in real legislative environments, like Wichita, KS and Washington, D.C. Click around to get a feel for Internet Age legislating. Watch a short tutorial video. Read what other elected officials and staff are saying about Madison, and see how Madison has helped other communities like yours.  Step back and compare policymaking with Madison to, well, the paper-based, inaccessible and frankly unworkable alternatives you’re stuck with today.

If you’re ready to learn more or get rolling, all you have to do is get in touch: You can email us by clicking here. You can click here to Tweet us @FoundOpenGov. You can call me directly at any time on +1-760-659-0631. Our team is on stand-by, and will help get you and your community governing better, together, with Madison.

I can’t promise Madison will make everything in your legislature and your life easy overnight. But I can guarantee governing with Madison, and working with The OpenGov Foundation, will make policymaking a lot easier, a lot more productive, and help you make a bigger difference in your community.

Isn’t that why you signed up to serve in the first place?

Sincerely,

Seamus First Name Only Signature

Seamus Kraft

Executive Director & Co-Founder

The OpenGov Foundation

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Madison 3.0, and all of the work of The OpenGov Foundation, is generously supported by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Shuttleworth Foundation, the Rita Allen Foundation, the Consumer Technology Association, and the amazing men and women with whom The OpenGov Foundation partners in communities, governments and civil society organizations across America.

Madison 3.0 would not be possible without seriously talented people who deserve our thanks: The OpenGov Foundation’s world-class developers and designers, past and present.  On the development side: Seth Etter, Tanner Doshier, Bill Hunt, Chris Birk, Ross Tsiomenko, Sean Keefer, inSourceCode, and all the open source contributors listed here.  On the design side: John Athayde, Scout Addis, and Bryan Connor.  On the operations and engagement side: Meag Doherty, Aaron Bartnick, Nicko Margolies, Leili Slutz, and Mary Kate Mezzetti.  All rockstars. All civic innovators.  All amazing people who made Madison 3.0 possible.