KBOO, a community radio station in Portland, Oregon, has just completed a months long project investigating the American Legislative Exchange Council's effect on members of the state legislature. The project, made possible by a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism, contains pieces from volunteer reporters about aspects of ALEC's lobbying efforts, interactive maps and spreadsheets detailing legislator involvement in ALEC sponsored model legislation and links to ALEC and organizations that watchdog ALEC. KBOO intends the work to be a model other community stations in other states might use as a starting point for investigating their own legislatures.
A photo-project shot whilst on a three week road trip through The Pacific North West. [more inside]
The Our Oregon Mobile Voter Guide is an app for iPhone and Android that presents progressive ballot measure recommendations for your location (Oregon only). Where do progressive groups that promote conservation, equal rights, reproductive health, senior care, and economic fairness stand on the ballot measures that matter most to Oregonians? Always up-to-date and relevant, the Our Oregon Mobile Voter Guide gives you the information and news you need.
Ever wanted to know where in Oregon the next new bar will be? Every week, Oregon's liquor control commission posts pdf's of their applicants for a liquor license. This bot grabs the latest PDF, makes a google map from it, and then tweets it. [more inside]
An infographic solution to the problem of living in an awesome state. [more inside]
Since the official locator for ballot drop sites in Oregon is pretty hard to find, not super user-friendly, and doesn't work in mobile browsers, I worked with Scott Duncombe at the Bus Project to develop a friendlier site that Oregon voters can use to find the nearest place to drop off their ballots. Locations are provided by Data.Oregon.gov. We're still looking at features to add over the next days/weeks, but the site is live.
How can we help the economy? By helping small businesses. Even Ben Bernanke admitted that community banks, not big banks, have stepped up their lending to small businesses since the financial crash. North Dakota has had a solution for this since 1919: it uses its tax reserves to extend lending to community banks. It's been working quite well. There's plenty of evidence that it would work elsewhere. Now, Oregon wants in on the action.