New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

East and West Coast Legislators Set National Free Law Founders Challenge: Free and Open Source Platform for Governing Civic Hackers Accept One Year Challenge to Build Democracy 2.0 Platform

New York, NY – At their keynote speech “Hack The Law” at the MIT Media Lab Legal Hackathon online conference, San Francisco Supervisor Mark Farrell and New York City Council Member Ben Kallos called on a nation of civic hackers to create a free and open source democracy platform for legislatures by next year. The one-stop shop site would provide legislatures the tools they need to be more open, transparent and tech-savvy, and was aided by New York City Council Member Brad Lander.
The five components on site would include free and open source tools:
·        Drafting legislation,
·        Commenting on legislation,
·        Making it available over open API,
·        Open law online, and
·        Authentication of the legislation and law.
“Government is due for an upgrade,” said Kallos. “Today, I called for a community of civic technologists to create the free and open source government tool for the future, a centralized place for legislatures to become the most transparent, efficient and connected versions of themselves to benefit many more Americans. And we started work today. Though a test version of the site by next fall is a lofty goal, it’s one that I know we can achieve if we apply our collective ingenuity and skill to the task.”
You can watch the call to action on Youtube:

"Winning the space race all started with President Kennedy's clear challenge to the country, marshaling the best of America - our innovation, our selflessness, our relentlessness - to achieving the mission," said Seamus Kraft, Co-Founder and Executive Director of The OpenGov Foundation.  "The challenge of transforming democracy for the Internet Age is just as complicated and just as crucial as landing a man on the moon.  We gladly accept it.  We believe in moonshots.  And it's my hope that today is a launch pad from which truly digital, accessible and user-friendly democracy takes off in America."
"It’s also essential that those of us not steeped in technology, but who understand civic and legal needs, participate in this challenge, so that whatever is produce fully represents the needs of a forward-looking pluralistic democracy," said Professor Jonathan Askin, Founder/Director, Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy Clinic.



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