The Open House Project from The Sunlight Foundation

Entries from July 2008

CMF on Constituent Communications

July 17th, 2008 · No Comments

The Congressional Management Foundation has been doing the yeoman’s work on addressing the problem of constituent communications. Through their Communicating with Congress project, CMF has been designing solutions for advocacy organizations and congressional offices, to help them create systems that can efficiently deal with massive advocacy campaigns.
Tim Hysom, from CMF, just wrote to the Open [...]

Tags: openhouseproject

Legislative Databases recommendation makes it to House Leg Branch Appropriations markup

July 14th, 2008 · 1 Comment

I’m ecstatic. All right, so this all goes back to late 2006, a bunch of people sitting at their computers writing some emails about what Congress should do with data. I distinctly remember Dan Newman and I both thinking that the Library of Congress should make its raw legislative database (that powers THOMAS) available directly [...]

Tags: GPO · House of Representatives · LoC · OpenHouse · Structured Data · appropriations · cha · library of congress · ohp · openhouseproject

Web Use Update

July 11th, 2008 · 3 Comments

(For everyone looking for an update or an explanation about Congress examining its web use restrictions, I just sent the following email to the Open House Project google group, explaining why the issue is important, and what I think that community has to offer.  If you’d like to be involved or follow that discussion, you [...]

Tags: openhouseproject

Member Web Use Reconsidered

July 8th, 2008 · 5 Comments

(from the Sunlight blog)
New lines are being drawn about the restrictions Members face when using the Internet.
House Minority Leader Boehner today released a memo, entitled the “Internet Freedom Alert”, criticizing a letter sent by Rep. Capuano to the Chairman of the Committee on House Administration.
Member Web use restrictions are among the main Open House Project [...]

Tags: openhouseproject

On Dear Colleagues

July 7th, 2008 · No Comments

(from the ohp google group)
I’ve talked to probably 6 people on this list with ideas about publishing Congress’ “Dear Colleague” letters.
Dear Colleagues are letters sent between Members of Congress, often daily, often detailing legislation and asking for support or cosponsorship.  The Committee on House Administration recently announced new plans to “allow for greater categorization and [...]

Tags: openhouseproject

Pesce at PDF

July 6th, 2008 · No Comments

Probably the highlight of PDF for me was seeing this talk by Mark Pesce, whose blog I’ve followed closely for 8 months. This presentation is very quotable, and very entertaining. (video follows)

Tags: openhouseproject

Eating well on Independence Day

July 4th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Happy 4th of July. I thought I’d share an interesting website that has nothing to do with government transparency but is about good use of government data. The USDA maintains a big database of nutrition facts about foods. You can download the database and build applications based on it, like a menu planner. This is [...]

Tags: Structured Data · data visualization · government websites

Legislative Reductivism

July 2nd, 2008 · No Comments

Implicit in our work is the assumption that public judgements of legislative acts are possible, and that individual legislative acts usefully reducible to data points, allowing legislative intent to be discerned. In a system dominated by parties and negotiations, this reduction of complex acts within a market-like system is tricky (or even sometimes impossible), but [...]

Tags: openhouseproject