Open States, Open Community


1 min read

This past Sunday, Open States, a volunteer open-gov project, hosted a full-day code sprint at Development Seed. With 15 attendees spending their entire day coding and sharing ideas, many significant PRs and a ton of additional progress was made towards their major goals for 2017.

Results: 100 developer-hours of code, and smiles all around! Results: 100 developer-hours of code, and smiles all around!

Open States programmatically scrapes and structures data from all 50 state legislatures in America, plus DC’s and Puerto Rico’s. Legislator bios and contact information, bill text, votes, and committee memberships are compiled and released as free and open-source data through their website and API, which receive millions of hits each week.

They are one of many great groups contributing to and strengthening the efforts of the open-source community, through civic initiatives and datasets, as a way to make governments more engaged and accountable.

To get involved, join the Open States Slack, follow the quick-start guide, and submit fixes for some of the existing issues.

Development Seed will also host two other community contributors this week:

  • Maptime Meetup: tutorial on the basics of data visualization in D3.js
  • USGS Lightning Talks: members of USGS will present the results of their two-day GeoHackJam

Disclosure: I am one of the core developers on Open States.

What we're doing.