Introducing Sunlight Live

What if we were able to “cover” live events in a new way using government data that we’re able to compile and connect it to political events and personas of the day?

Today we’re going to take this idea to the next step by beginning to connect government data such as campaign contributions or lobbyist meetings to a political event in real-time. As Republican and Democratic leaders come together to debate health care in a public forum, Sunlight is going to provide an alternative to the mainstream media’s coverage. In a replicable pilot we are calling Sunlight Live, our team will connect data such as the aforementioned lobbying contributions or “revolving door”connections the meeting’s participants may have, and put them right next to the video feed, as any particular politician is speaking.

We think Sunlight can offer a unique live perspective on the debate in the midst of the media frenzy, by focusing not on the merits of health care, but on the money, connections, and influence data to which we have created access. In addition to displaying data from Sunlight and its grantees’ projects, our staff will once again be live blogging, facilitating online conversation via Twitter, and engaging the open government community in research as the debate unfolds. We don’t yet know exactly what we’ll need or what will work best … but that’s the point.

We’ll be getting things started at 10 a.m. with the beginning of the meeting. Hope you’ll join us!

About Jake Brewer

As the Campaigns and Engagement Director at the Sunlight Foundation, Jake is responsible for all external affairs and campaigns aimed at making government on the local, state and federal level more transparent. Jake is a veteran national organizer and social entrepreneur, having served as Director of Strategic Communications for the Energy Action Coalition (Power Shift '09), Director of Partnerships at Idealist.org and Director of Education Without Borders. Jake and his team are responsible for outreach and citizen activism campaigns, like the highly successful "Read the Bill" initiative, which helped push Congress to post legislation online for public disclosure and comment. Jake is an expert on the transparency community and the importance of engagement between the public and its government. Jake has most recently appeared on MSNBC, CNN, BBC America and NPR.

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