Congresspedia

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So, I guess I can let the word out: I’m the new assistant managing editor for Congresspedia.

“But wait,” you say. “Didn’t you just start a new job?”

Well, I did, but I applied for the Congresspedia position at the same time, and I think it will work out better for everybody involved. The Studio Theatre is an incredible organization, rightfully known for wonderful contemporary productions, and I’m already missing the staff there. Their newest production, Shining City, will probably leave you breathless.

So, what’s Congresspedia? It’s a joint effort between the Center for Media and Democracy and the Sunlight Foundation. Basically, we’re trying to promote a knowledge base founded on citizen editors — that means you! Anybody can register, and anybody can edit. It’s my job to help those who do. We have a couple of projects going on right now, so head on over and give it a try. We provide an preview of hearings and votes on major or controversial legislation, headlines throughout the week, and a recap of issues on Fridays, so there’s always something to learn if you drop in.

I’m a Sunlight Foundation employee, something I’m immensely proud to say. This is an organization that’s trying to increase transparency and openness in everything our government does. The staff bio page reads like a who’s who of open government advocates and investigative journalists.

The Sunlight Foundation hasn’t been around long, but it has some great accomplishments thus far. Take a look at PopUp Politicians (which is running on this site), for example, or the cool work we’re doing with the Punch Clock campaign.

I know a lot of people feel disillusioned about government and politics and the media. Congresspedia is a great way to not only take meaningful action, but to help others become involved as well. Every entry, every edit, is another bit of information that citizens and journalists can reference.

If I know my readership, you probably do quite a bit of reading online, and you’re likely interested in news and politics, and you’re tech-savvy to a degree. Why not check out New Mexico’s portal on the 2008 election, and make some changes? Add a candidate that’s running if we don’t have him or her listed yet. Check for endorsements. If you’ve been following the debate on SCHIP, why not record how New Mexico’s congressional delegation voted on the bill?

In closing, I’m incredibly excited to be part of this. It brings together so many of the things I’m interested in: new media, investigative journalism (though that’s not really my department at Sunlight), transparency in government, citizen participation and Congress itself. In other words, it’s just about my dream job.

So, head on over and poke around (be sure to do some editing) and, while you’re at it, add the Sunlight Foundation blog to your bookmarks and/or your feed reader.

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