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112th Congress live in Congress API

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Now that they've been sworn in, all members of the 112th Congress are now available in our Congress API.

All members are now added along with their ids on other sites (Project Vote Smart/FEC/bioguide/etc.) but we're still working on getting some of the contact information as house.gov and senate.gov have just updated. We'll be working on these today and tomorrow and expect that all contact information will be available today and social media accounts will be up to date within a week.

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Sunlight Congress API & The 112th Congress

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We've recently gotten a few questions about our Congress API and when it will include new members elected in November.

The reason that these members are not yet in the Congress API is that most* new members will not take office until January 3, 2011 when the 112th Congress convenes. Because the 111th Congress is still in session we are waiting until these members are sworn in and have offices assigned to them to add them to the API. Rest assured though that we have begun work on tracking down all of the relevant information for the representatives and senators elect and should have a large update for the first week of the new year.

Note: Some individuals, such as Mark Kirk in Illinois were elected in special elections and have already been added to the API. To keep track of what changes have been made already look at our apidata repo.

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Reminder: Submit a Patch, Win a Kindle

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Back in October we announced that to celebrate our 100th GitHub project we'd be giving away a Kindle (or Gift Certificate) to say thanks to one lucky contributor to our Open Source projects.

If you find yourself with a bit of extra time during this holiday season and want to help make government more transparent please take some time to contribute to one of these projects (or any of the 100 others). In order to be eligible be sure to fill out the entry form.

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Celebrating 100 GitHub Projects

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Last week we hit a milestone that we're pretty proud of. The Sunlight Labs github account now features more than 100 projects. We've been putting projects on the account for just under 2 years, which makes for a rate of about one new project a week.

We thought it'd be interesting to look at a breakdown of our projects on GitHub, to look at the work that has been done in the last two years.

Also, because we realize that there's no way we'd be where we are without help from this wide range of contributors who have submitted code, forked our projects, and submitted tickets we've decided to offer a small prize in exchange for your help.

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Introducing the Open State Project API

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Over a year ago we announced our intention to build scrapers that would collect and sanitize legislative information from all fifty states, an initiative that is now known as the Open State Project.

As of today we're proud to announce a new milestone for the project, version 1 of the Open State Project API. You can start using our API today to get access to information on more than 37,000 bills and 1,600 legislators from the most recent sessions of 10 state legislatures.

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Google Summer of Code: Open State Project

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This post was contributed by one of Sunlight Labs' Google Summer of Code Students, Gabriel Joel Pérez. Gabriel's work is currently being integrated into the core project and the states he has been working on should be available via the Open State Project API later this year. His code is available on github as we work on integration.

Hello! I’m Gabriel, I’m a 4th year student of Computer Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez. This summer I worked as a GSoC student on developing new scapers for the Open State Project. The states I worked on were Colorado, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon and the territory of Puerto Rico. I really enjoyed the whole experience. The work is very fulfilling as coding in Python is always delightful and fun.

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Sunlight Labs Community Survey

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We've put together a short survey that we'd greatly appreciate your responses on. It shouldn't take more than ten minutes. By answering you'll be a part of this re-evaluation of where we focus our efforts so that we can help ensure that this community stays focused and energized. Tell us what you like about the community and where we're slacking, but most importantly tell us what you need.

Take the Survey

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Summer of Code 2010 Participants

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Google has announced the participants for this year's Google Summer of Code, and we're proud to have four excellent students out of a great overall batch of applications.

We'll be posting updates here over the course of the summer on how the projects progress. Even though our students don't wrap up their classes for another few weeks and so the real work won't begin until May we figured we'd go ahead and introduce our four new students and their projects to the community.

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Announcing Our Google Summer of Code 2010 Participation

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Yesterday Google announced the accepted organizations for the 2010 Google Summer of Code and Sunlight is honored to be one of the organizations that will be participating this year. This is our second year participating and we're looking forward to this year's batch of students.

If you are interested in applying check out our project ideas page and read on for details.

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