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Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

Farewell OpenCongress, hello GovTrack

The news just hit the street that Sunlight Foundation’s OpenCongress will be retired on March 1. OpenCongress has been a valuable tool for Congressional information seekers since 2007. But this news is actually a good thing. OpenCongress will now point users to GovTrack.us which also has a long history of valuable information service. And what’s more, some of the best pieces of OpenCongress will be absorbed into GovTrack to make it better going forward. As Sunlight says, this is a win, win for everyone. Thanks Sunlight for 10 years of great civic tech and more going forward!

Some key differences exist between GovTrack and OpenCongress, though, and we wanted to make sure civil society didn’t lose functionality when we retired this site. In particular, OpenCongress includes the ability to contact congressional members through Sunlight’s completely redesigned and revamped Email Congress, a service that relies on the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s javascript driver, because collaboration = awesome. As well as being available at the brand new EmailCongress.us, GovTrack is now incorporating the Email Congress service into its own site. And users can now access GovTrack’s excellent data and strong analytics as well as Email Congress in one spot. Win, win.