Who is the Death Penalty Actually Penalizing?

05.22.15

The death penalty is a very timely topic of debate. From an extremely important case before the Supreme Court right now to the death penalty verdict for the Boston Bomber it is ever more present in the public eye. There are numerous facts that people do not know about the death penalty and many states …
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Vaccination Nation?

05.14.15

For almost as long as vaccines have been around, there has been some type of controversy surrounding them. Although there is medical and scientific evidence that shows that vaccines help people to not contract harmful, deadly and infectious diseases, there have been questions raised on their effectiveness, safety and the push towards mandatory vaccination. The …
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Big Brother Watching Uncle Sam?

05.04.15

In light of recent events in Baltimore and Ferguson, a post about legislation to protect police and the people was in order. In the last couple years, different police districts throughout America have started mandating body camera use for their police officers. Many states have passed legislation implementing plans to require police to wear these cameras. …
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Plastic’s not so Fantastic

04.30.15

Throughout past decade, the world has consistently been moving towards using less resources and switching to reusable sources. One of the biggest movements has been cutting back on plastics and single-use plastic bag usage. Recently, places all around the world have enacted plastic bag bans. These bans are based off of the detrimental effects these …
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unEARTHing Clean Energy Regulation

04.22.15

Happy Earth Day! Because it is the one time of year we are forced to think about our Earth and how our actions affect it, I thought it more that appropriate to take a post to talk about clean energy. Conventional fuels such as nuclear, oil and gas are raising an increasing a number of …
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What We Gun’ Do About Gun Control?

04.20.15

Changes in gun control have become prevalent across the United States in the last two years. Regulations have ranged from becoming much stricter and requiring a lengthy process in order obtain a firearm to lessening regulation and allowing persons to conceal carry without any training. These regulations are due to the two distinct arguments between …
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Religious Freedom treading on Freedom?

04.07.15

A major topic in the news the past few weeks is the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and how Indiana’s recent state RFRA is effecting the state’s reputation and economy. This act brings to light different types of discrimination across the United States and how some attempts to stop discrimination can lead to discrimination in other …
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Information About Congress That *Should* Be at Your Fingertips (Guest Post from OpenTheGovernment)

12.06.14

By Amy Bennett  (http://www.openthegovernment.org/Congress_Info_at_Your_Fingertips) Modern Americans have come to expect and demand real-time access to information about the things we run into in daily life: the weather, traffic conditions, lunch specials in the cafeteria, etc. Shockingly, though, we continue to accept that our access to information about the laws being considered by Congress, and how Congress …
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Stop The Secrecy!

04.24.14

  President Obama and other leaders are meeting in Asia right now to finalize the Trans-Pacific Partnership – a deal that threatens to censor your use of the Internet, kill jobs, undermine environmental protections and remove your democratic rights. This is urgent: They’re trying to nail down this deal right now under cover of extreme secrecy, with citizens …
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Introducing OpenTheGovernment.org (guest post by Mary Treacy)

04.20.14

In some circles, change is happening fast inside the Beltway – One issue on the front burner is the issue of open government itself. OpenTheGovernment.org is a key player in coordinating the work of non-profit organizations with the Federal Interagency Open Government Working Group. A priority is to ensure that the process itself is open. One concrete …
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National Popular Vote Interstate Compact

04.17.14

On Tuesday New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed S03149 making New York the eleventh jurisdiction to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. New York’s 29 electoral votes bring the compact’s total to 165, or 61% of the 270 votes needed to activate the compact. The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC) was started in …
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Summary of White House’s new Open Data Policy (by Alan deLevie)

05.13.13

It’s exciting times right now in the government transparency community.  Alan deLevie posted this very thorough summary of the recently released Open Data Policy, and it’s reception across the community,  in Robert Richard’s wonderful Legal Informatics Research Network google group.  I’ve pasted the whole thing below for your enjoyment.   Written by Alan deLevie: Today the White House released …
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Hack4Colorado – civic hackathon in Denver on May 31

05.07.13

We are excited to be sponsors of on Hack4Colorado, coming up in a few weeks. I hope you are getting ready for Hack4Colorado on May 31st – Just wanted to give you some more information to make sure your hacking experience is the best it can be. If you are following @Hack4CO on twitter, then you know …
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Google, Twitter, & Facebook: We need to know if we can trust you

04.10.13

CISPA is a bill that would make every privacy policy on the web a total joke. These three companies say they’re for their users’ rights. So where do they stand on the law that would END privacy? See this view http://youtu.be/IkuH5ZjEdBw and check out this page for more information: http://www.saveyourprivacypolicy.org/ The internet is ours. Defend it.

Lawrence Lessig: We the People, and the Republic we must reclaim

04.07.13

There is a corruption at the heart of American politics, caused by the dependence of Congressional candidates on funding from the tiniest percentage of citizens. That’s the argument at the core of this blistering talk by legal scholar Lawrence Lessig. With rapid-fire visuals, he shows how the funding process weakens the Republic in the most …
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Social Media – Good or Bad? What your state government thinks (and is doing)

03.14.13

I personally am a huge fan of some social media (Twitter, Tumblr) less so of others (Facebook).  I certainly do think tools like these are going to be a significant communication tool for a long time to come.  Apparently state legislatures agree, and have been introducing an ever growing number of bills involving social media …
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Stop the Internet Coup – ITU meets Dec 3

11.19.12

An obscure international meeting next week could give a top-down, non-transparent UN body (one with representation from many dictatorships) the power to regulate the Internet. It’s called the ITU. The ITU would literally give dictators like Syria’s Assad (who was trending yesterday for–it seems–cutting Syria off from the Internet) a role in crucial decisions about …
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Introducing My Fair Election for Election Day Transparency

10.13.12

MyFairElection.com is a crowd sourced election monitoring platform created by faculty at the Harvard Kennedy School with support from LegiNation, Inc. and a group of dedicated citizens. It enables voters to take an active role in monitoring their polling places and in improving the quality of elections and ballot access in the United States. To …
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Greetings from www.FollowTheMoney.org!

05.24.12

Hello Bill Track 50 users, My name is Kevin McNellis and I am a researcher at the National Institute on Money in State Politics—the only organization that tracks campaign contributions to state-level candidates, political parties, and ballot measure campaigns in all 50 states. After running into the Bill Track 50 team at the Sunlight Foundation’s …
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“Peace Corps for Geeks”

05.10.12

I saw Jennifer Pahlka speak at SxSW about Code for America, which she founded in 2009. Here’s anther of her talks, this one for TED, which is well worth watching: http://www.ted.com/talks/view/lang///id/1381 She got me pretty excited about her ideas. She argued that the government should work more like the internet — permissionless, open, generative. Government as …
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