The OpenGov Foundation hosted the Door Stop Awards yesterday, which recognized the largely (but not entirely) unsung efforts to open the doors of Congress to the American people.
Last night, at the first ever Door Stop Awards last night, six Members of Congress and congressional staff were honored by the open government community for their tireless efforts to drag Congress into the digital age and make the legislative branch more open, responsive, and accountable.
The honorees were:
- The Honorable John Boehner
- The Honorable Eric Cantor
- The Honorable Steny Hoyer
- The Honorable Jared Polis
- Joe-Marie St. Martin
- Karina Newton
What made the event memorable for me were the people in the room. On one hand were members of Congress and key staff who moved mountains to nudge our 227 year old legislature to be a little more open. They took it as a matter of faith that we all will benefit if we make Congress more responsive to the American people. On the other hand were the civic activists and civil society advocates who asked for the mountains to be moved, and who make our federal legislature come alive for millions of Americans through the websites and services that they have built.
By working together, and with many others, we are making Congress more capable of performing its essential role of making our democracy work.
It is important so say thank you. Thank you to the honorees. Thank you to their as-yet unsung colleagues who, I suspect, will be honored at future awards. Thank you to the OpenGov Foundation, for organizing and hosting the event. Thank you to the event sponsors, who made it possible. Thank you to the civic hactivists, who built the tools that help make government better. And thank you to the American people, for being interested in our legislature.