Sunlight Labs

Sunlight Labs is an open source community of thousands dedicated to using technology to transform government. We focus on transparency- the idea that government can be more effective, more honest, and more accountable when it makes data about its process, operations, and influences available to the public. Our work revolves around opening up government data of all forms. Paid staff of Sunlight Labs are employees of the Sunlight Foundation a 501c(3) non-partisan non-profit organization. The Sunlight Foundation is:

  • A think-tank that develops and encourages new policies inside the government to be more transparent and accountable
  • A campaign to engage citizens to change government’s transparency policies.
  • An investigative organization that uses the data and applications to demonstrate why we need those policies
  • A grant giving institution that gives grants to organizations using technology to further our mission and create community
  • An open source technology community that revolves around the Sunlight Foundation’s core mission

Our community’s values:

  1. This is about openness, not about politics. Check the partisan stuff at the door. It is fine to work on an angle around transparency that appeals to you and your political beliefs, but it isn’t fine to alienate the beliefs of others.
  2. Diversity is key- we welcome all members any gender, race, heritage, body, background or opinion. But most importantly, we actively seek to build a strong and diverse community. And we constantly need help and coaching on how to do it right.
  3. Our focus is on American governments- federal, state and local.
  4. No jerks allowed- Our movement is a jerk-free one. If you’re constantly making the other people around you feel small, then we kindly ask that you do it somewhere else.
  5. Accountability and transparency are big parts of the open government movement, and they’re big parts of the open source movement too. Support and lead the projects that you create here, and if you’re unable to do that, then pass the project on to someone who can.
  6. Burritos deserve their own food group.