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Introducing: OpenGov Voices -- Sunlight’s guest blogging program

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For a while now, we have been encouraging folks from across the nation who are either directly or indirectly involved in opening up their governments -- through the work that they do -- to write about their experiences. In our guest blogging program, we have heard from several individuals including technologists, civic hackers, journalists, educators and transparency activists. By opening up the Sunlight platform, for other similar voices to be heard, we have nurtured a spirit of collaborative action that says: You are not alone in the OpenGov movementScreen Shot 2013-01-25 at 10.47.25 AM (2)

Are you doing unique work in your community to make your government more transparent? Maybe you are actively involved in creating special projects that are opening up your local government. We believe that you can spur transparency in your hometown by taking action to demand for openness. Write a guest blog and share your experience with us and the rest of the world. Some of our guest bloggers are citizen activists, website developers, teachers, journalists and local bloggers like you who are unlocking their governments through the work they are doing.

Our guest blogging program was created to reach out to the growing yet diverse community of government transparency advocates -- as a way of sparking national discussion on the issues that are shaping their democracy. With that in mind, several folks have written inspiring accounts of how they helped make their leaders more accountable.

  • For example, through Barbara Petersens’ Open Government and Florida’s Project Sunburst, we learnt that the First Amendment Foundation was instrumental in pushing for disclosure of Governor Rick Scott’s email correspondence to the public.
  • But what will be remembered as perhaps one of the most remarkable guest blogs is Jason Williams’ A Win for Open Government in Utah. Like the title suggests, Utahns had been embroiled in a spirited fight to reject the 2011 anti transparency bill --  HB477 a bill that would have removed lawmakers' emails and text messages from the public record. This joint effort illustrated the power that citizens hold especially when they stand up against measures that threaten their right to know.
Not a fan of writing? How about some mixed media

With OpenGov Voices, we aim to integrate other media so if you have photos or videos, throw them in the mixed media pot and send us your guest blog. Sunlight’s inhouse collection of issue experts is expanding and we are eager to know if you have used any of our experts’ resources. Have you used any of our tools? Perhaps you incorporated some of our APIs in a project you made. Or maybe you have some upcoming legislative issues, in your city or state. What’s the current legislative news in your area? Give us your local input on the issues you care about. Write a guest blog and share with us.

With TransparencyCamp growing in leaps and bounds, our international pulse is beating faster than ever before. You don’t have to be living in the U.S. to let us know how Sunlight’s international transparency work affected your country.

A few things to keep in mind: If you are interested in guest blogging with Sunlight...

  • All guest posts must be relevant to Sunlight’s mission and audience.
  • Guest posts should address an issue around government transparency or open government, provide a non-partisan point of view and be of original content.
  • Posts should be between 500-900 words.
  • All guest posts may include a 2-3 sentence author bio, which will be published at the beginning of the guest post. 1-2 links to the author's work, website or blog. Author must submit full name, “LinkedIn” size image of him/herself and preferred contact information.
  • Posts should not be inflammatory or disrespectful in any way.
  • Guest bloggers can submit posts in either Word or Google Docs with links/urls where they want them to be. They can also include relevant credited images.
  • Posts may be self-promotional as long as they are informative or educational in the process and are in line with Sunlight’s mission.
  • Sunlight has the right to correct any grammatical errors found before publishing post.
  • Preference will be given to guest posts that have not been already published elsewhere online.
  • If there is a comment on a guest blog, the guest blogger will be responsible for responding to it.
Interested in writing a guest blog for Sunlight? Email us at guestblog@sunlightfoundation.com

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