Please give to the Sunlight Foundation

I love my employer, the Sunlight Foundation, and I bet a bunch of my dear readers would, too. It’s a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that “uses cutting-edge technology and ideas to make government transparent and accountable.” Think of the intersection of unknown campaign money and political influence, for example. Or government data made less useful because it’s not in a computer-readable format, or is squired behind a paywall. Here’s a fun and insightful project. And here’s a free tool for your phone. (Android and iPhone; check your store/market.) And here’s a big bunch of data for developers to use. And there’s much more.

Sunlight has been given a major partnership investment. With that money comes a challenge to get quite a number of small donors before the end of the year. A dollar or two (or a bit more if you like) to show your interest.

Please give here (Amazon checkout) or here (Google checkout) or send a check to

1818 N St NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20036

I would appreciate it much.

The Day Job

Let me tell you about where I work, and why it matters to you, my dear readers.

It isn’t a secret that I work, as the administrator, for the Sunlight Foundation, which has

the goal of using the revolutionary power of the Internet and new information technology to enable citizens to learn more about what Congress and their elected representatives are doing, and thus help reduce corruption, ensure greater transparency and accountability by government, and foster public trust in the vital institutions of democracy.

(My staff bio even mentions that I’m a Unitarian Universalist minister.)

But I make it a practice to not talk about my day work on the blog. Danger, I’ve been told, lies there. The conventional wisdom, you know.

But I work with the sharpest team of data wranglers, designers, developers, journalists, policy wonks, social networkers, visionaries and writers I’ve ever met, to say nothing of our consultants and grantees. Each of them has given me an idea — either related directly to the work or from their interesting, vital backgrounds — that I want to blog. Some have come in, deeply cloaked. Many have important ideas, if seen sideways, that would help churches, the practice of ministry, and living an ethical, sustainable life. And I sometimes that means examining directly what we produce.

So I asked the powers-that-be if “danger lies there.” No, it doesn’t. Thank you.

And if anyone asks, my political opinions are my own. Whose else would they be?

Watch for some of the produce of these interactions in weeks ahead.