Posted on January 26th, 2016
01/26/2016 @UrbanFuturesLab, 19th floor, 15 MetroTech, Jay Street, Brooklyn
David Moore @PPF spoke about his organization’s projects to make it easier to access/track legislation at the Federal, state and local levels. The NY City Council has a web site, but it’s hard to find information. #Councilmatic provides a user-friendly interface that can be searched by committee meetings, your council member, bills being heard, etc. The site makes it easier to find all proposed legislation on an issue, track the hearings on the bill, submit comments to council members, etc.
NYC.councilmatic.org covers the New York city council and was launched on Sep 30, 2015. They have similar sites for Chicago and Philadelphia. PPF is acquiring the resources to add other U.S. cities.
Earlier, David created the OpenCongress site which is a user friendly interface on federal bills including bill summary, annotate bill text, etc. The data were acquired by screen scraping public sites.
Next, OpenState created similar sites for each state.
The Sunlight foundation provided some funding for these ventures, but now concentrates only on the Federal and State level. PPF concentrates on cities.
To standardize their data presentation, PPF also created a data standard: Open civic data.