About Open States

I co-founded and then led Open States from 2009-2014 and 2016-2022.

Open States is an open source project that makes state legislative data from all 50 states (and DC and PR!) available in a single website and API. It’s used by journalists, researchers, and civic hackers to build tools that help people understand what their state government is doing.

It was created out of a recognition that there was a lot of energy in the civic tech space, but it was 99% focused on the federal level at the time.

My work on the project started with writing the initial code and doing some open source community building. As the project grew my role expanded into working on grants, managing a team of developers, and helping to build a sustainable organization and software project over the course of 13 years.

For a long time I thought of it as “my job” whether it was or not, and it is only in looking back that I can really appreciate how extraordinary of an experience it was.

I wouldn’t be the developer or person I am today without the project and I’m eternally grateful to the entire community and everyone that ever contributed in any way.

I am no longer involved with the project, it is now in the caring and capable hands of my friends over at Plural.

Open States Blog Posts