Help OpenNorth Raise 10K to Improve Democracy and Engagement thru Tech

Some of you may know that I sit on the board of directors for OpenNorth – a cool little non-profit that is building tools for citizens, governments and journalists to improve participation and, sometimes, just make it a little bit easier to be a citizen. Here’s great example of a simple tool they created that others are starting to use – Represent – a database that allows you to quickly figure out all the elected officials the serve the place where you are currently standing.

As a humble non-profit OpenNorth runs on a shoestring, with a lot of volunteer participation. With that in mind we’d like to raise $10,000 this Canada Day. I’ve already donated $100.

The reason?

To sponsor our next project – Citizen Writes – which, inspired by the successful Parliament Watch in Germany, would allow citizens to publicly ask questions both to candidates during elections and to representatives in office. The German site has, since 2004, posed over 140,000 questions from everyday citizens of which 80% been answered by politicians. More importantly such a tool could empower all back benchers, rebalancing power which is increasingly centralized in Canada.

I encourage you to check out our other projects too – I think you’ll find we are up to all sorts of goodness.

You can read more at the OpenNorth blog, or donate by going here.

4 thoughts on “Help OpenNorth Raise 10K to Improve Democracy and Engagement thru Tech

  1. Robert Cheetham

    Nice post.  OpenNorth is doing great work.  It’s my understanding that the folks at Parliament Watch are working on releasing their platform under an open source license, so it might be good to consider leveraging that.  Does Gregor know about your plans for Citizen Writes?

    Robert

    Reply
  2. Robert Cheetham

    Nice post.  OpenNorth is doing great work.  It’s my understanding that the folks at Parliament Watch are working on releasing their platform under an open source license, so it might be good to consider leveraging that.  Does Gregor know about your plans for Citizen Writes?

    Robert

    Reply
  3. jpmckinney

    Hi Robert: Yes, in fact, we met Gregor at Transparency Camp, and it was through talking with him about Parliament Watch that we were convinced that this should be our next big project. We will evaluate their open-source platform once it becomes available. For now, we are considering reusing mySociety’s Alaveteli. As the project progresses, we will continue to be in touch with the ParliamentWatch team.

    Reply
  4. Momoko Price

    Hey Dave! I didn’t know you were on the board of OpenNorth – James and I have been chatting about collaborating on a project ourselves :) 

    I wholeheartedly support and have faith in James and his hyper-practical, super-honest, no-bs approach to web dev. for the public good. 

    Donated! 

    Reply

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