Lessons from the Sunset of Sunlight Labs

A few months ago, I joined Sunlight Foundation as their Senior Technology Adviser. Kat Duffy, who was then the Sunlight Labs director, brought me on to help bolster their programming efforts and lend support across the organization. However, only a couple of weeks later we learned that Sunlight Labs was being shut down entirely.

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The End of the Second Act of Civic Tech

The world of civic tech has changed radically in the last few years. Many of the old bastions of transparency and civic innovation have started to crumble, shrinking dramatically in both size and scope. It’s clear that the future of civic tech will appear radically different – moving out from under the umbrellas of sprawling nonprofit organizations and back into smaller, focused efforts. Below, I discuss what we’re currently seeing today, and what will need to be done in the future for us to continue our work effectively.

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What I Wish I Had Known About Decoding The Law

After a little over three years of working on The State Decoded (and a bit less than that on Madison), I’ve learned quite a few things about the law.  The process of translating legal code into machine-readable data is not an easy one, but after thousands of hours working on this problem we’ve made some [...]

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Bootstrap Sass with rem instead of px for Vertical Typographical Rhythm

A huge number of sites use Bootstrap as a css framework these days. Using Bootstrap is even easier with the bootstrap-sass package, which uses SASS to allow developers to customize nearly every aspect of the framework. Unfortunately, the current version doesn’t support units other than pixels (px), so using percent, ems, or rems isn’t easy. [...]

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