About Open States

Open States strives to improve civic engagement by providing data and tools to help you understand the legislative process that creates public policy. Open states is the leading source of standardized legislative data across state borders in the United States, since the project's founding in 2009. We aim to serve members of the public, activist groups, journalists, and researchers with better data on policy-making, and to provide tools to reduce barriers to democratic participation.

Open States aggregates legislative information from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and US Congress. This information is then standardized, cleaned, and published to the public via OpenStates.org, a powerful API, and bulk downloads. OpenStates.org enables individuals to find out who represents them, look up information on an important bill that’s been in the news, discover how their representatives are voting, or just stay current with what is happening in their state. Additionally, our API and bulk downloads are used every month by advocacy organizations, journalists, researchers, and many others.

Legislative data is collected from official sources, linked at the bottom of relevant pages. In general bill & vote data is collected multiple times a day via our scrapers while legislator data is curated by our team & volunteers like you.

The Team

In 2021 Open States was adopted by Civic Eagle. Civic Eagle creates cutting-edge software to make it easy for public policy data to be discoverable, interpretable, and collaborative. Part of what sets us apart is our commitment to an open data core: the foundational layer of data about democracy that should be democratically and transparently available.

When we learned that Open States was being run by just a few people, and was looking for new options to keep the lights on, we offered to adopt the project. We are proud to carry on the tradition of the project by growing available data and engaging with the community. Please check out the Open States Blog for recent updates.

As of 2023, the core team is led by Civic Eagle staff. James Turk has been good enough to remain involved as Founder Emeritus. But that's by no means everyone that makes the project run. A special thanks to all of our contributors and the authors and maintainers of all of the libraries that we depend upon.

History

From 2016 - 2021 Open States was an independently-run project. Thank you to the people who worked hard to keep Open States available free of charge during that time, including:

From 2009-2016, Open States was a project of the Sunlight Foundation. For more details see our announcement and Sunlight's announcement.

Notable Users

Notable users of Open States data include:

If you have a use of Open States you'd like us to know about, contact us.

Funding History - prior to 2022

Partner Organizations

Other Funding

Prior to November 2016 Open States was a project of the Sunlight Foundation from 2009-2016. Thanks to Sunlight Foundation and all of the generous donors that supported Open States. A special thanks to Rita Allen Foundation, Minnesota Historical Society, Robert R. McCormick Foundation, and Google.org which all supported Open States directly.

Open States has also previously received corporate contributions from Google (via Google Summer of Code), WeWork, Amazon Web Services, and free plans from NewRelic and GitHub.

Contact Us

If you're looking to discuss Open States, ask general questions, or otherwise get involved, check out our Discussion Forum.

If you notice any data irregularities, issue reports are very useful: Report an Issue

If you want to get in contact for another reason, or have a security concern that you don't feel comfortable posting about publicly you can email us as well.