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Transparent about TransparencyCamp14: What we learned

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Before TCamp14 becomes a distant memory, we just wanted to reflect on the whirlwind that was (is) our annual 2-day unconference on transparency, data and open government. This year’s TransparencyCamp, our 6th year, was a coming of age for our (un)conference with a chart topping number of attendees from around the United States and the world.

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Five years of Political Party Time

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We’ve told you before about the innovative ways our elected representatives raise cash: from assault rifle raffles to March Madness fund-a-thons to swanky out-of-town retreats. But taking a step back from all the invites shows some interesting trends. Check the graphic below, and see more dataviz on our 18,000 political fundraising invitations after the jump!

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The 1% of the 1% by state

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This table contains data on members of the 1% of the 1%, organized by state. For each column, the colors correspond to the size of the given indicator, with the darkest green referring to the ten states with the largest values, and the lightest green to the ten lowest. Click on a column name to re-sort the table by that column.

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Where the 1% of the 1% money goes

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The figures below break the 1% of the 1% up by deciles, going more in depth for the top decile (the top 3,139 donors) and then in more depth again for the top 314 donors (the 1% of the 1% of the 1%). The major takeaway  is that the biggest donors are the biggest donors because they give primarily to super PACs. Since individual aggregate contributions directly to candidates, parties and committees are legally capped at $117,000 (though some seem to ignore this), to be in the top 314 donors (minimum total of $304,000) requires at least some giving to super PACs, which allow for unlimited contributions.

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Coding, Not Just for the Boys

Instead of scheduling brunch plans or enjoying a lazy afternoon this weekend, close to 40 women took over the Sunlight conference room this past Saturday for an all-female software training program conducted by GeekChic. Here at Sunlight, we were happy to host the training and help cultivate more developers in the DC community with the hopes of increasing awareness of open data and turning these future developers on to our APIs and databases.

So many ladies learning programming!! #sunlightgram

While many our developer colleagues were participating in the National Day of Civic Hacking, a number of us were here writing our first lines of code. In the seven-hour training intensive, we covered the basics of command line, learned to write and execute code in Python, got our style on with some basic CSS and HTML training as well as created our first web app on Django. (Whew, that was exhausting just recounting what we did.) Six Sunlighters, with a range of tech know how, participated in the training and here’s what we learned (and real life testimonials on why you shouldn’t be afraid to learn to code!). If you are interested in partnering with Sunlight to host technology workshops, please contact events@sunlightfoundation.com.

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The design behind TransparencyCamp 2013

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One of the things I love about TransparencyCamp is that it is a large essentially unscheduled event. You can't plan what's going to happen when you have over 500 people and just a loose schedule of events over 2 days. The branding has to be loud enough to guide people though the unconference format in an unfamiliar space and convey a sense of excitement and energy. The implementation has to be flexible and allow for things to change, like a picnic session in the park, or food trucks for lunch parking in unexpected locations. tcamp2013 branding

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