Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the guest blogger and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of the Sunlight Foundation or any employee thereof. Sunlight Foundation is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information within the guest blog.
Jackson Stephen is the founder of OpenBama -- a nonpartisan website that compiles data from various sources pertaining to Alabama State government into an easy to use tool. OpenBama desires to inspire the citizens of Alabama to demand more transparency within state and local government. Jackson is also organizing the first TransparencyCamp in Alabama. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Around 2008 I began the work on what would become OpenBama.org. At the time I started the project, I had never heard of the Sunlight Foundation, open government, or any of the wonderful transparency projects across the country. I was one guy with a computer and an idea to make Alabama legislative data meaningful to the citizens of my state. Little did I know that there was an entire community of individuals working on similar transparency projects across the country, individuals like myself that desired to take government information to the people.Continue reading
It seems our Senators have a thing or two learn from their home states when it comes to campaign finance reporting: 31 states currently require mandatory electronic reporting ("e-filing") of their elected representative's campaign finance records -- a leap above our Senate, which has failed to pass no-brainer e-filing legislation for over a decade. Sunlight conducted a review of the current state of similar filings in the states (see chart below), and the results are pretty surprising -- in a great way. State governments across the country -- 92% of them, in fact -- require at least optional, if not mandatory electronic filing for both houses of their bicameral legislatures.Continue reading