GSoC/GCI Archive
Google Summer of Code 2009

Sunlight Foundation

Web Page:

Mailing List:

Sunlight Labs is the technology arm of the Sunlight Foundation, a non-partisan non-profit dedicated to using the power of the Internet to catalyze greater government openness and transparency. Since our founding in the spring of 2006, Sunlight has assembled and funded an array of web-based databases and tools including,,,, and In December 2008 we shifted our focus to be more community-driven and adopted a formal policy of open sourcing all of the code we produce. In the last few months we have open sourced approximately a dozen projects ranging from reusable Django applications to sites like, with many more in the works.

We have also started to engage the developer community more actively through events like our Apps for America developer contest and with upcoming scheduled hackathons at PyCon in Chicago as well as Gov 2.0 Expo in San Francisco as well as our large community project to produce scrapers/parsers for all fifty state legislatures. Over a few months, Sunlight Labs has grown from a development team of 8 to a community now of 360 developers and designers building projects to open the legislative and executive branches of the federal and state governments.

We had a lot of excellent proposals but could only accept a few. This is our first year doing Google Summer of Code and hope to expand our involvement in the future.  If you submitted a proposal and were not accepted we'd love for you to remain a part of our community as there are always more opportunities to contribute and becoming an active member will help your chances in the future.


  • Fifty State Project The Fifty State Project is a project Sunlight Labs is running to collect legislative from all 50 states plus DC. Over the course of the summer I would like work to finish all of the state parsers are complete and in good shape. Next I want to create a robust backend that updates itself so I can finish the summer of by building an API for developers who want to build applications on those data.
  • Get Represented & People's Agenda Fusion Voting is a dying habit. Each individual in our country has the opportunity to create change in our government. Yet, most people only vote once or twice during the year, then sit back and wait until next year. This project will change the way we think about voting. Through this proposed system, any user will be able to vote on public policy issues on a national and state level. Politicians will be able to gauge interest on issues and respond to questions and concerns. Let’s get represented!
  • The Fifty State Project The Fifty State Project aims to collect and make available legislative data for all fifty state legislatures. As my project I will be continuing my work in implementing parsers for individual state legislative data as well as designing both a backend to store the data we collect as well as a developer-friendly API and data format.