I’m excited to announce the most exciting development since we took the project over back in November 2016! The Open States team has received funding as part of an NSF grant and will, for the next ~9 months have full time staff.
In a bit more detail, we have received funding as subgrantees on an NSF C-Accel Grant to build a prototype of something the team is calling the Federalism Data and Advanced Statistics Hub. We’ll be working on this in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, University of Rochester, Kansas State University, and University of Notre Dame.
Now that this is official, Dan Schneiderman has joined the team as a contractor and I’ll be working on the project as a full time job. We haven’t had this level of staffing since 2015, and we’re excited for what we’ll be able to do over the next few months. A good amount of the work will be going directly into the needs of this project, but the improvements to our infrastructure and data will be huge for the project as a whole.
We’ll be publishing more updates soon, but on the short term roadmap:
- Restoration of historical legislator data (complete)
- Completion of full text search work (in progress, and generously supported by the Reynolds Journalism Institute)
- Restoration of historical bill & vote data (also in progress)
After that’s done, we’ll be picking up work on record linkage, looking further back in history, filling gaps where scrapers are not gathering hard-to-reach data, and quite a bit more. We’re hopeful that this work will lead to a renewal of the NSF grant, as well as other funding opportunities in 2020.
Of course these are just the surface level changes that having full time staff will entail. We’re eager to spend time improving our infrastructure, and finding time to work more closely with partners, and much more. If you’re interested in learning more or getting in touch about related projects please get in touch!