FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 18, 2018
Oakland Public Ethics Commission and Local Volunteers
Launch Campaign Finance App for November Election
New version of Oakland campaign finance data website illuminates City campaign finance data through simple graphs, showing the source of campaign funding.
September 18, 2018 – The Oakland Public Ethics Commission (PEC) and members of the civic technology group OpenOakland jointly released a new version of their web tool for tracking political contributions in Oakland elections. The website, Open Disclosure (www.opendisclosure.io), shows the source and spending of campaign funds for both Oakland candidates and ballot measure committees, using campaign finance data collected by the City. The PEC and OpenOakland will formally launch the application at OpenOakland’s hack night on September 25, 6:00 p.m. in Hearing Room 4 at City Hall.
“This project is proactive, collaborative transparency at its best,” said Whitney Barazoto, Executive Director of the Oakland Public Ethics Commission. “Commission staff and local volunteers partnered to make government-collected campaign finance data more accessible and user-friendly for the public – precisely the intended recipients of this information – so that citizens are more informed as they go to cast their votes.”
The developers hope to empower Oakland voters with timely, accurate, and useful information about the flow of money in local elections. “We know national elections are the focus for a lot of people right now, but local elections have a major impact on people’s everyday lives,” said Elina Rubuliak, the UX designer for the project. “We hope Open Disclosure will help voters make informed decisions about local candidates during a critical election year.”
Open Disclosure was developed entirely by volunteers with advice and oversight from the Commission. The two organizations collaborated on previous versions of Open Dislosure, released for the 2014 and 2016 elections. The 2018 update marks the third release of the application and offers information, updated daily from the City’s campaign finance reporting database, about all Oakland races and ballot measures, including the closely watched mayoral race. The application shows how much funding is coming from within Oakland, inside California, or from out-of-state donors and includes sortable and searchable lists of campaign donors. The new release also includes data on third-party spending (independent expenditures) to influence the election.
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The Public Ethics Commission oversees compliance with Oakland campaign finance, lobbying, transparency, and government ethics laws.
OpenOakland is a civic tech organization supporting open, agile, and engaged government. We work with community members and technologists to help our city innovate and to create partnerships that allow residents to create tools that help make government more accessible and transparent.