March 19, 2017 Sprint Retrospective

This past Sunday’s code sprint was a huge success! We had 15 developers spend a whole day at work on Billy-to-Pupa conversion. With 13 new PRs from that group alone, we’re well on our way to the next step in our 2017 roadmap. A huge thank-you from James and myself to everyone who dedicated their day off to the project: @jmcarp, @hmoco, @erinspace, @lmm54321, @rshorey, @lindsayyoung, @showerst, @mroswell, @lmdragun, @gregjd, @jschiarizzi, @jalbertbowden, and @amitnagis. [Read More]

Wrapping up my Open States contract

This is my last week of my three-month stint working full-time on Open States. So far in 2018, I’ve made over 100 scraper code commits, dozens of manual data corrections, built up our community of contributors (including 70 prospective Google Summer of Code students), and developed most of the main views for our new website. Returning to working in my off-hours, I’m hoping that Olivia and I can have the new website up and public in the coming months. [Read More]

Open States & Google Summer of Code 2017

Google Summer of Code 2017 We’re excited to announce that Open States has been accepted as a participating organization in Google Summer of Code 2017! It’s been a few years since we last participated (while at Sunlight), but Google Summer of Code has been a fantastic experience for Open States in the past and we’re glad to be participating again. If you aren’t familiar with GSoC, it is a program in which Google pays stipends to college students that are willing to spend their summer working on select Open Source projects. [Read More]

Save the Date: Open States Code Sprint — March 19, 2017

We’re excited to announce that Open States will be holding a code sprint in DC on Sunday, March 19! When and where? We’ll kick off in the morning at 9:00 AM, close up around 6:00 PM, and’ll plan to serve both breakfast and lunch. And don’t worry if you can attend for only part o that; we’ll be available to onboard contributors throughout the day. Development Seed has generously offered to host the event in their office space. [Read More]

What’s Next in 2017?

As of last week, we’re collecting current data again for all in-session state legislatures. (This includes 48 of the 50 states, as well as DC and Puerto Rico; Florida begins their main 2017 session in March, and Louisiana doesn’t start until April.) This isn’t the first time we’ve gone through this massive start-of-session undertaking, but each time we’re floored by the amazing support from our community. We’d like to extend a huge thank-you to everyone that chipped in to get us here: since the start of November, there have been over 300 code commits from a dozen contributors, and we’ve received over $7,000 for our general fund from over 50 donors. [Read More]

2017 New Year Update

Phew! We’ve been working hard over the holidays, and are pleased to report that Open States is now serving up-to-date data for 20 state legislatures. Our initial plan was to have a set of 11 states ready for you by January 3. Unfortunately, some of these states’ websites haven’t yet been fully updated for the 2017 session, including Ohio, DC, and Massachusetts. Waylaid without their data, we focused instead on bringing up as many states as possible, including most legislatures with 2017-session information hosted. [Read More]

Scraper Timeline Update

We’re excited to announce that over the coming days, we’ll be able to start reactivating some state scrapers to collect up-to-date legislative data. We plan to turn on nearly a dozen states in our first round: California, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington DC. These are some of the earliest states to begin their 2017 legislative sessions, and together include over 40% of the US population. [Read More]

Our First Month

It’s been just over a month since we took over ownership of Open States and we wanted to give you an update on how things are going. First off, we’d like to thank you all for your contributions to our ongoing General Support Fundraiser; over the past month, we’ve received dozens of donations totaling over $4,000! This is incredible, and we’ll be putting together a donor’s page by the end of the year thanking everyone who publicly supported the mission of Open States. [Read More]

Why Open States?

originally published November 3, 2016 We announced earlier this week that Open States is now being maintained by the original creators of the project, a community of Sunlight Foundation alumni and other volunteers. After a year of scant staffing culminating in the closure of Sunlight Labs, we expect that getting Open States fully operational again will take a significant effort, and we know from experience that maintaining the menagerie of scrapers into the future isn’t easy either. [Read More]

Adopting Open States

As the Sunlight Foundation announced today, Open States is going to be passed along to us, a group of Sunlight alumni, with the goal of turning it into an independent, self-sustaining project. We’re extremely grateful to Kat Duffy and everyone else at Sunlight for helping us to get to this point, and wanted to take some time today to explain who we are, what our plan is, and what we need from you in order to have Open States succeed. [Read More]