Apps for America: A Contest to Make Congress Accountable

John Musser
Dec. 23 2008, 04:22AM EST

Do you want to use the power of open APIs and mashups to help make the US Congress more accountable, interactive and transparent? If so, then you'll want to enter the new Apps for America Mashup Contest from the good folks at the Sunlight Foundation. Like last year's Mashup Congress contest, this is another notable competition from Sunlight, whose nonprofit mission is to help organizations use Internet technologies to make information about Congress and the federal government more accessible to the American people to create a "catalyst for greater political transparency and to foster more openness and accountability in government."

How to compete?

As with the Mashup Congress contest, there's lots of great opportunity for developers to create something both innovative and beneficial. Take for example last year's winner, Unfluence. Built using the API from Follow the Money it gets you more insight into the truth of campaign finance via an interactive network map of state level political contribution data (more at our Unfluence mashup profile).

Unfluence

We have profiles and mashup examples for these APIs including: the Sunlight Labs API, the OpenSecrets API, the Follow the Money API, and the new Capitol Words API.

For more ideas and inspiration, take a look at our Government Mashup and API dashboard.

John Musser

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[...] Congress Facebook is a new mashup combining 11 different web APIs that wants “to make Congress more accountable and transparent”. The app tracks a lot of data for each member: voting records, FEC reports, Campaign Finance summary, their opinions on the issues, and even their state’s federal spending reports. The design of the site is basic, but the it’s data rich. And among other things, it’s an entry in a contest we reported on last month Sunlight Labs’ Apps for America contest. [...]