This article was written by Micki Krimmel in June 2007. We're republishing it here as part of our month-long editorial retrospective.
I first learned about MAPLight.org at the recent NetSquared Conference. As I wrote last week, the conference attendees chose MAPLight as the winner of the first prize NetSquared Innovation Award. In a crowd of extremely well-deserving projects, MAPLight stood out as an organization applying the best of Web 2.0 technology and standards to create a vital tool for transparency in democracy.
MAPLight.org brings together campaign contributions and how legislators vote, providing an unprecedented window into the connections between money and politics. We currently cover the California Legislature and U.S. Congress.
Maplight has been receiving a fair amount of attention lately and the $25k prize will help them take their project to the next level, providing the funds for them to create customized widgets for bloggers and nonprofit organizations to share up to date information on their websites automatically. MAPLight is also working to expand their service to other states, with New York next on the list.
I chatted with Sean Tanner, Maplight's Research Manager via email to get a little more insight into Maplight's mission and future particularly as America turns its attention to the next Presidential election. As Research Manager, Sean coordinates the MAPLight.org database and research internship program. He is also the chair of the Young Advocates, a group of young professionals who support the work of Human Rights Watch.
Micki Krimmel: Can you tell me a little bit about the mission of MAPLight and its origins?
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