Super excited to announce that OpenCalifornia, a coalition of Code for America brigades, have submitted a grant proposal to the Knight News Challenge for Elections. Our goal is to build California’s first centralized repository for local campaign finance data. We want to destroy the obstacles that exist for residents, journalists and other interested parties to access vital data about the money that flows into local races.

This is an ambitious project, but our coalition, which comprises of brigades from Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco and San Jose, have already developed a proof of concept in the form of local versions of the system we want to bring to communities across the state.

Regardless of whether we get funding, this is a priority for our organization. The time has come; Californians need better access to their local campaign finance data. Each of the 538 jurisdictions in the state (cities and counties) have different ways in which they store this data. Most of this data is still locked away in paper documents inside Election or City Clerk’s offices.

I encourage people to check out our proposal and give us feedback. We want to create a system that will inspire engagement by communities, to better educate voters on the money behind the campaigns.