The Sunlight Foundation—a non-partisan effort to use citizen investigation and candidate cooperation to make government more transparent—came out with a new widget that displays the tweet stream for all of the members of Congress who are using Twitter.
The widget is one of a dozen or so Internet systems developed to support their mission of transparent government. The Sunlight Foundation relies on Internet technologies to get the truth out into the open. They support, develop and deploy new online systems to make information about Congress and the federal government more accessible to the American people, fostering more openness and accountability in government. These projects include:
- Capitol Words—For every day that Congress is in session, Capitol Words sums up the day with one word (the most frequently used word from the Congressional Record).
- Punch Clock Map—Transparent politicians volunteer their itineraries for public review through a Google Map
- PoliQuiz—an interactive political trivia game.
- PublicMarkup.org—gives you the opportunity to review and comment on proposed bills before they are even introduced in Congress.
- Where Are They Now?—Community effort to track whether and where former Congressional staffers are employed as lobbyists.
- Party Time!—Tracks where and when politicians are partying.
Launched in 2006, the Sunlight Foundation works hard to get citizens involved with the process of governing through awareness initiatives like OpenCongress. This site collects a wealth of information from sources like GovTrack.us, Google News, Technorati, and OpenSecrets.org, turning them into blog reports on what is really happening in Washington, D.C. “We think everyone should be an insider.”
Past initiatives included the successful Let Our Congress Tweet campaign earlier this year, which responded to rules changes that would keep elected officials from using Twitter. Sunlight also sponsored a visualization contest. The winner was Unfluence, a network querying tool that showed the context of political donations, connecting candidates to corporations.
Tags: activism, community participation, Congress, Congressional records, non-partisan, non-profit, Projects, Sunlight Foundation, transparency, Twitter, widget
Bill Moyers describes the Sunlight Foundation