Blog -

Protected: Sustainability of Open-Gov Tech -

by David Moore

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

On Participatory Politics and Austerity Government -

by David Moore

We founded PPF in 2004 with the instinct that tech could radically increase trust in the political process – the kind of trust & feedback loops just found lacking by British voters in the E.U. government. Lots of food for … Continue reading

Example of Civic Features for Public Priorities -

by David Moore

Background: three federal reform election initiatives, towards mitigating the lobbying & political influence of the NRA on firearms policy. This post seeks to touch on how social media isn’t affecting the Senate on gun control, and how open data standards for constituent … Continue reading

PPF Projects at PDF16 -

by David Moore

We have three non-profit projects that help “interested bystanders” become civic actors. Get in touch to support our work in 2016, free & open-source & open-data as always. NYC Councilmatic – track and share everything in the NYC Council. Impact: new public comments for local … Continue reading

Proposal for Contemporary Participation Knowledge Base -

by David Moore

Please find below a quick-fast public proposal for an updated knowledge base on “what really works” for civic engagement and democratic participation. Offered in a spirit of community-building. Currently, research & apps & findings are spread between a variety of projects, … Continue reading

NewsChallenge on Libraries – Three Partnership Proposals -

by David Moore

The librarian community have been strong evangelists of PPF’s open-data tools for civic engagement since the earliest OpenCongress days of 2007. Librarians and educators helped us get our non-profit resources off the ground, linked to them, and suggested improvements. And … Continue reading

Councilmatic Momentum in 2016 -

by David Moore

Tomorrow is #codeacross America 2016, so I wanted to update the CFA community and #opengov hackers on gathering momentum with Councilmatic. Excited that Councilmatic is one of the challenge projects in Toronto: “David Hains of Torontoist wants to build a Toronto version … Continue reading

Ask Candidates About SCOTUS & Citizens United -

by David Moore

2016 election season is heating up; it’s prime AskThem time. Catch up with links from @EveryVoice on Twttr. See HuffPost, Sept. 2015: “In a recent Bloomberg poll of 1,001 adults, Citizens United — which paved the way for the rise of super PACs … Continue reading

Farewell, OpenCongress; Hello, OpenGovernment -

by David Moore

What a surprise to write this post this afternoon. If I hadn’t done my mindfulness practice this morning, I’d be tempted to post the cheesy Jerry Maguire “flip out” clip on a social media service, you know, as a lighthearted joke. … Continue reading

New York Tech MeetUp + NYC Councilmatic -

by David Moore

After nine years of non-profit web development*, it’s my first time demo’ing on stage at NY Tech MeetUp tonight, the nation’s largest with nearly 50,000 members – some 750 RSVP’d, full up. Cool. Here’s the Freelancers Union bill, Intro 1017 on … Continue reading

Open Data Infrastructure for Civic Engagement -

by David Moore

It’s 2016, and we’re still missing a huge amount of open infrastructure for civic engagement.  In my nine years of experience, here are the three major areas of need in the U.S. #opengov space. Below I’ll make the argument why this … Continue reading

Councilmatic a Finalist in Knight Cities Challenge -

by David Moore

We’re pleased that Councilmatic has been named a finalist in the Knight Cities Challenge, to expand and deepen our non-profit work on civic engagement in Philadelphia. Councilmatic is one of 158 entries to advance out of over 4,500 submissions, 20 of … Continue reading

Keep AskThem Online for the 2016 Elections -

by David Moore

2016 is an election year, so it’s AskThem time. AskThem works as a uniquely open Q&A platform for all the Presidential campaigns, every Congressional race, and more contests in your state. Make a tax-exempt donation today to support our (free & open-source) work on … Continue reading

Three Federal Electoral Reform Initiatives -

by David Moore

Please find below a public legislative roadmap for three major federal legislative initiatives for electoral reforms. That is, bills in Congress for a stronger U.S. representative democracy. Each of these three legislative initiatives are composed of several bills, some active … Continue reading

Comment on NYC Councilmatic -

by David Moore

NYC residents and community groups: we’re excited to feature your comments on NYC Councilmatic pages, and deliver your group’s feedback to city council offices for a public response. Here’s how to comment on legislative items on Councilmatic, such as on the 2015 … Continue reading

AirBNB bills on NYC Councilmatic -

by David Moore

NYC Councilmatic is live, as a non-profit public resource on everything that’s happening in NYC government. Our site includes every committee’s activity and public events, creating unique open data for civic engagement. To highlight issues in the news and priorities in NYC communities, … Continue reading

Bring Councilmatic To Your City -

by David Moore

We’re working to roll out Councilmatic to cities nationwide as an open-data public resource. Contact us to talk about Councilmatic in your area: info@councilmatic.org, and we’ll get back to you right away to connect voice. Get in touch!  More info: … Continue reading

Become “Verified” on NYC Councilmatic -

by David Moore

NYC Councilmatic is live, and ready for public discussion about local issues. Starting December 1st, we’ll bring together a monthly public comment program on community issues in NYC and how they relate to legislative activity. All NYC Council offices, neighborhood groups, issue organizations … Continue reading

Ask Questions to Democratic Presidential Candidates -

by David Moore

The first #DemDebate of 2015 was Oct. 13th, at 9pm ET on CNN. Ask your questions to the candidates on AskThem, the only non-profit question-and-answer platform for every U.S. elected official (& politician & media company & political pundit & more). Previously, see my … Continue reading

Announcing Councilmatic and NYC Councilmatic -

by David Moore

Today from the Code For America Summit, we’re excited to launch our new non-profit project Councilmatic. Finally, a version of OpenCongress for cities is here. Our new version of the site is first launching for our beloved home base of New York City: NYC … Continue reading

Ask Questions to 2016 GOP Presidential Candidates -

by David Moore

Fire up the question machine. It’s 2016 elections time, which means it’s AskThem time. Next debate Tuesday Nov. 10th in Milwaukee, #GOPdebates appears to be the hashtags on micropublishing. (Ask questions to all the Democratic candidates too, linked handily from this … Continue reading

Announcing NYC Councilmatic -

by David Moore

Our non-profit organization is excited for today’s announcement by the Rita Allen Foundation, that they’re supporting our forthcoming project NYC Councilmatic – a free & open-source website for engaging with NYC government. Head over to Rita Allen’s blog post today, where Councilmatic is announced … Continue reading

Vote for AskThem in the Participatory Budgeting Process -

by David Moore

Unsurprisingly, given the name of our organization, I’m very bullish on participatory budgeting programs, specifically the excellent national PB Project based in the Bay Area. The research – especially internationally – on PB’s increase in community equity is robust (thanks Tiago & … Continue reading

Digital Legislatures, ahead of our #PDF15 Panel -

by David Moore

Towards closing the feedback loop with local governments, and writing & introducing your own city’s laws. Faced with gigantic problems (catastrophic climate degradation, local election disenfranchisement, police militarization, lobbyist influence on policymakers, more) – why aren’t more popular policies (carbon … Continue reading

Ask Questions to #PDF15 Speakers on AskThem -

by David Moore

Ahhh tech-politics conference time again, my 11th consecutive PdF of 12, I believe my fifth time participating on a panel (grateful). Along w/ T-Camp (usually spring, unfort. relatively poor dining in D.C.) and CFA Summit (usually Fall, fortunately consistently amazing food … Continue reading

“Explore Campaign Finance” demo at Civic Hall – Thursday, May 28th -

by David Moore

Our non-profit has worked with money-in-politics researchers since we ran OpenCongress from 2006 through 2013 – including OpenSecrets, Sunlight, FollowTheMoney, MapLight, LittleSis and others. Even with the progress of digital #opengov & #opendata movements since 2007 or so, there’s tons more work to do in … Continue reading

Sunset The PATRIOT Act – protest photos & legislative update -

by David Moore

Couple of photos from tonight’s ‪#‎SunsetThePatriotAct‬ protest outside of Sen. Schumer’s offices in Midtown East. Go team Fight For The Future, amazing organizing this week – here’s the main campaign site with lots of helpful info & tools to share: … Continue reading

State Department – International Visitors to Civic Hall -

by David Moore

This week Friday April 24th, from 11am- 12pm at Civic Hall, I’m pleased to be leading a discussion for 26 international visitors, organized through the U.S. State Department. Civic Hall members are invited to join, and I hope they’ll have … Continue reading

AskThem Widget – User Testing -

by David Moore

Please find below one version of AskThem widgets, free & open-source, supported by a charitable grant from the Knight Foundation Prototype Fund. Images, for demo day in Miami today, thank you Chris Barr & team Knight for this user-testing & … Continue reading

Unpacking Civic Tech – Inside and Outside of Government -

by David Moore

It can sometimes seem, or be conflated, that “civic tech” is the same in its incorporation, business & sustainability strategy, and product priorities. “Oh, it’s all online civic action, whether it happens on Facebook or PopVox or NextDoor or myMadison … Continue reading

PPF at SxSWi 2015 -

by David Moore

Check out our two NewsChallenge applications, now live for your applause (button on right-hand side) & comments: AskThem – crowdsourced questions-and-answers for candidates around debates, elections, and ongoing public dialogue. Councilmatic – versions of OpenCongress for city governments & local … Continue reading

Fight For the Future profile in Boston Globe -

by David Moore

The moment the net neutrality vote was announced, I shouted-out the crew Fight For the Future and popped a bottle at Civic Hall:

#Hack4Congress event this weekend -

by David Moore

Today, I’m excited to be heading up to Harvard University to be one of ten judges at the inaugural Hack 4 Congress event – “A Not-Just-for-Technologists Event to Fix Congress, with the OpenGov Foundation”. Shout-outs to my fellow judges and the five … Continue reading

OpenPlans Paved the Way; Shareabouts Moves Forward -

by David Moore

Last month, the team at OpenPlans in NYC announced organizational changes for 2015 – they’ll be cycling down core operations, handing off projects to good homes and keeping Shareabouts mapping tool moving forward. For the past two and a half … Continue reading

Donate to AskThem, Open-Source Infrastructure for Civic Engagement -

by David Moore

Hi everyone, please find below a version of our year-end fundraising email for AskThem. Charitable foundations and philanthropists, please get in touch to hear more about our unique value as open-source web tools, AskThem’s impact on civic engagement in 2014 and our … Continue reading

The Importance of Accurate Headlines on Incomplete FCC Data -

by David Moore

The net neutrality battle is as massive as anything happening in tech-regulation now, and recently the coalition of public-interest groups has been gathering much-needed momentum for real Title II reclassification. Historical stakes. That’s why, with our sibling non-profit Fight For … Continue reading

Web Tools to Reform Police Militarization & Criminal Justice -

by David Moore

In the wake of the most-recent terrible news from Ferguson and NYC, the criminal justice system and government oversight have failed the families of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and the public so devastatingly. My thoughts are with the families of those affected … Continue reading

Micah Sifry on Growing Digital & Civic Engagement -

by David Moore

I’ve recommended Micah Sifry‘s latest book – The Big Disconnect – enthusiastically, ever since I devoured it after this year’s Personal Democracy Forum conference. Micah is one of ten AskThem advisors, the true founding supporter of OpenCongress, and a friend – … Continue reading

Bring AskThem to your Campus -

by Maryam Gunja

Following the powerful student organizing movements across the country- from Divestment Student Network‘s collective action for climate change to Student Net Alliance‘s cross-campus campaign against institutional surveillance- AskThem’s Q+A tool is primed to support activist efforts across the country. Using … Continue reading

Police Body Cameras as networked-public policy initiative -

by David Moore

From terrible news from Ferguson last night – my thoughts are with the families of those affected and I’m inspired by the protesters. Michael Brown’s family wrote, in part, “Join us in our campaign to ensure that every police officer working … Continue reading

X11: channeling #Ferguson actions from social media into open data -

by David Moore

tl;dr: an open data standard for political information, “X11”, could channel public sentiment out of closed social media and into open structured data for policymakers.  We have proven data standards and ready partnerships, but we need charitable funding support to develop … Continue reading

Follow-up Thoughts on “What’s Needed for Civic Engagement” -

by David Moore

Last week, I published a long-simmering blog post on the open-source infrastructure we’re missing for greater civic engagement in the U.S. online political space. I was pleased to have a solid conversation about these ideas on Wed. on the micropublishing service with Alex … Continue reading

Get the latest on Plastic Bag Regulation -

by Maryam Gunja

The popular movement for paper bag legislation picking up steam across the country has ignited contentious debate between environmental advocates, industry manufacturers, and consumer right champions. With broad support, California became the first state legislature to impose a statewide ban … Continue reading

What’s Needed for Civic Engagement -

by David Moore

Our open-government community’s efforts are over eight years old now, by my count, and the term #opengov itself seems to be waning in use against the still-interrogated latest big-tent descriptor, “civic tech”. I’m dashing this off ahead of a terrific Knight … Continue reading

AskThem Question Campaign RoundUp -

by Maryam Gunja

We’re rounding up recent question campaigns to showcase the promising breadth of issues users can surface on AskThem. AskThem isn’t just for elected officials- users can access a wide range of verified Twitter targets- including whole governance bodies, prominent public … Continue reading

Trending Questions for 2014 Midterm Candidates -

by Maryam Gunja

We’re sharing favorite recent questions to 2014 candidates in competitive congressional and gubernatorial races. Browse to find questions that raise your important issues and then take a couple of minutes to sign-on & share! Vote up asks to candidates vying … Continue reading

Crowdsource Questions to Midterm Candidates -

by Maryam Gunja

As election season kicks into high gear, AskThem supports questions-and-answers with political candidates in hot races across the nation. Push incumbents on their tenure in office, vet newcomer campaign issues and weigh in on ballot proposals. Enter your ZIP code … Continue reading

Testimony to NYC Technology Committee on #PetitioNYC -

by David Moore

(As of 9-30-14, 9pm ET – ahead of NYC Council Tech Cmte. event tmw morning, 10am ET, livestream link TK here. Comments welcome on the below, shouts BetaNYC community: david at ppolitics.org, @ppolitics on Twttr.) To: NYC Council – Committee on … Continue reading

Campaign for State Intervention in the Comcast Merger -

by Maryam Gunja

Amidst the uproar surrounding the federal review of the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger involving the House Judiciary Committee and the Federal Communications Commission, what influence do local regulating bodies exercise over the proposed acquisition? As it stands, approval from powerful … Continue reading

Crowdsource questions to candidates during election season -

by Maryam Gunja

We’re pleased to announce that AskThem and HonestAds– the non-profit organization for campaign ad transparency- are working together to connect you to candidates in time for the midterm elections! Browse below to see the 75 candidates you can reach for competitive … Continue reading

“We The People for NYC” is coming, with potential -

by David Moore

Today, the NYT reported that NYC Council Member James Vacca will introduce legislation to develop online petitions to NYC city council – in short, a version of the White House’s “We the People” for NYC municipal government. Well golly – sounds good … Continue reading

Participatory Budgeting Campaign on AskThem -

by Maryam Gunja

Announcing our extensive question campaign for Participatory Budgeting in New York City! We’ve worked closely with the Participatory Budgeting Project and the grass-roots organizing group, Community Voices Heard, to build awareness for the budgeting process, encourage district adoption, and increase … Continue reading

Unique Features for Good Q&A on AskThem -

by David Moore

We’re proud of some of the unique features on AskThem, to support good questions of people in power. When developing AskThem, we didn’t just create another online petition site. For one thing, we offer AskThem as a free & open-source … Continue reading

Announcing NYC policy answer from Council Member Ben Kallos -

by Maryam Gunja

Excited to share our latest NYC policy answer from Council Member Ben Kallos presiding over District 5. Kallos, who represents the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island, addressed the controversial Marine Transfer Station planned for East 91st street in Manhattan. … Continue reading

AskThem buttons – HMTL for images linking to our homepage -

by David Moore

Button w/ tagline, links to homepage of our flagship project AskThem, 220 px wide :: Ask questions & get answers Every elected official nationwide & any verified Twitter account … second variant :: … grab the HTML here on our … Continue reading

Launch your own “Define American” campaign -

by Maryam Gunja

As the U.S. Congress continues to stifle comprehensive immigration reform, we’re promoting questions to municipalities, governors and state agencies in how to pave the way for citizenship. We’re following the work of award-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, who bravely outed his status as … Continue reading

#SaveTheInternet Campaign for Municipal Broadband -

by Maryam Gunja

Today, for #ResetTheNet, we’ve partnered with our friends at Fight for the Future to unveil our #SaveTheInternet question push. It’s a grassroots campaign to advance net neutrality state-by-state, from the bottom-up. On AskThem, we’re promoting specific policy questions towards city adoption of broadband technology. … Continue reading

PPF Projects In Play at PdF 2014 -

by David Moore

David & Maryam from PPF will be at PdF 2014 this week – my tenth year at this leading tech-politics conference, how about that. We’re actively seeking charitable funding support for our non-profit work – here are some of our current projects: AskThem.io … Continue reading

AskThem at Personal Democracy Forum 2014 -

by Maryam Gunja

We’ve been looking forward to the annual Personal Democracy Forum, and are proud to promote this year’s impressive two day lineup (June 5th-June 6th), which brings high-profile veterans together to explore emerging changes in the landscape of technology and governance. … Continue reading

AskThem Experiment 8: split-test of email subject headings -

by David Moore

This is the writeup of Experiment Eight of our open-analytics experiments on AskThem, conducted with support from Google Civic Innovation. Background on this project. Previous tests have been run on Optimizely and Google Analytics – this focuses on Action Network, an organizing platform that … Continue reading

On #YesAllWomen, hashtag activism, and networked public sphere -

by David Moore

This past week, like many others, I’ve been transfixed and energized by the #YesAllWomen campaign. Background from Amanda Hess and Jessica Valenti and others. I’ve spent the week listening to and learning from intense personal stories from friends & colleagues – about … Continue reading

AskThem Experiment 7 – Research on Q&A best practices -

by David Moore

This is the writeup of AskThem Experiment 7, by Maryam Gunja, AskThem community manager – of our open-analytics experiments on AskThem, conducted with support from Google Civic Innovation. Background on this project. Q+A Best Practices – product & community research  What is a good question? … Continue reading

Victory for Students Against Surveillance Question -

by Maryam Gunja

Excited to share our latest official answer on AskThem – The President of New York University, John Sexton, addressed institutional privacy protections in response to a question from the student-led digital rights group, the Student Net Alliance. In the wake … Continue reading

AskThem Experiment 6: Signature Conversions on Question from Allied Org. -

by David Moore

This is the writeup of Experiment Six of our open-analytics experiments on AskThem, conducted with support from Google Civic Innovation. Background on this project. Previous experiments have primarily been split-tests in the quite-useful Optimizely; this test measures traffic in Google Analytics & conversation in a … Continue reading

AskThem Experiment 5: Removing Firstname & Lastname from Signature -

by David Moore

This is the writeup of Experiment Five of our open-analytics experiments on AskThem, conducted with support from Google Civic Innovation. Background on this project. Test five focuses on question pages, the backbone of our site, and specifically the fields on the right-hand side to sign. … Continue reading

AskThem Experiment 4: Homepage Copy, Testing “People Like You” -

by David Moore

This is the writeup of Experiment Four of our open-analytics experiments on AskThem, conducted with support from Google Civic Innovation. Background on this project. Like experiment three, this test was on our radar screen, but was boosted in priority from a video Skype conversation with … Continue reading

AskThem Experiment 3: Homepage Streamlining -

by David Moore

This is the writeup of Experiment Three of our open-analytics experiments on AskThem, conducted with support from Google Civic Innovation. Background on this project. This was in the queue, but was pushed ahead by a conversation with Tom Steinberg of mySociety (UK), our widely-respected non-profit … Continue reading

AskThem Experiment 2: Post-Signature Sharing Copy, Testing “Push” -

by David Moore

This is the writeup of Experiment Two of our open-analytics experiments on AskThem, conducted with support from Google Civic Innovation. Background on this project. This test focuses on the copy & message that a user receives after he or she has signed a question, in … Continue reading

AskThem Experiment 1: Homepage Copy, Testing “Start Petitions” -

by David Moore

Welcome to the writeup of Experiment One of our open-analytics experiments on AskThem, conducted with support from Google Civic Innovation. Background on this project. The focus of this test was AskThem’s homepage above-the-fold copy, the first impression that many new visitors … Continue reading

Open Analytics on AskThem + Google Civic Innovation -

by David Moore

One of the major benefits of AskThem.io being an open-source, open-data project is that our non-profit organization can share our findings back with the public commons. This impulse to liberate info about our process extends from the open data standards we’ve … Continue reading

Announcing Kansas City Mayor James & Council Members Ford & Davis on AskThem -

by David Moore

Our non-profit project is pleased to announce that Kansas City, MO Mayor Sly James has signed-up as a verified responder on AskThem. Mayor James is our latest major-city elected official to agree to respond to popular public questions on AskThem, … Continue reading

Let’s Spread Councilmatic to NYC and Nationwide -

by David Moore

There’s a huge opportunity to make the work of city governments more transparent and participatory. City councils and mayors produce tons of municipal legislation and local laws, but as of now, there isn’t a go-to solution for making them open … Continue reading

Open Constituent Communications + Open CRM for Congress -

by David Moore

Earlier this month, I wrote typically-overlong blog post about the amazing success of the Contact-Congress community #opendata project. Which builds on our non-profit, PPF’s open-source OpenCongress work to send digital messages to members of the U.S. Congress, generating invaluable open data about … Continue reading

Connect with Local Elected Officials in Top Cities -

by Maryam Gunja

From county officials to city council members, from the coasts to Middle America, AskThem connects you to a comprehensive directory of local officials nationwide. As of today, check out our 50 city government overview pages for recently-added major cities like … Continue reading

Civil Rights Question Delivered to Alaskan Governor -

by Maryam Gunja

Exciting update: a popular civil rights question on AskThem by user Amber Reed exceeded threshold with over 290 votes in less than a week! Here’s her question advocating for justice in the complex Fairbanks Four Case. It rocketed to nearly … Continue reading

Become a verified responder on AskThem -

by David Moore

Any elected official, at any level of government, can become a verified responder on AskThem. It’s free, open to everyone, non-profit and non-partisan. Over 70 elected officials nationwide have signed-up to respond, including the mayor of Austin, Texas and eight … Continue reading

Participatory Budgeting for AskThem -

by Maryam Gunja

“How will you spend $14M?” We’re pleased to announce our official campaign for Participatory Budgeting in New York City! We’ve worked closely with the Participatory Budgeting Project of New York and the grass-roots organizing group, Community Voices Heard, to build … Continue reading

Ask Mayor Bill de Blasio Anything, Ahead of Friday’s Hangout -

by Maryam Gunja

Now that NYC Mayor de Blasio is in review for his early days in office, what city-wide issues are most important to you? In advance of de Blasio’s Google Hangout session on Friday, April, 11th, help us gather support for … Continue reading

Hear from Experts on Landmark Court Rulings -

by Maryam Gunja

Is corruption limited to quid pro quo? Are athletes employees? Are corporations people? Are software inventions patent-eligible? Now you can use AskThem to learn more about the implications of recent landmark court rulings: Join the conversation about the future of campaign … Continue reading

Brad Lander Drafting Bill Based On Constituent Question from AskThem.io -

by David Moore

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thursday, April 3, 2014 – 11am ET Contact: David Moore, AskThem.io – david@ppolitics.org Today AskThem.io is announcing that NYC Council Member Brad Lander is drafting legislation based on a constituent question from our website. AskThem is a … Continue reading