We build custom software to help you make the world a better place. We are dedicated to increasing civic engagement and building tools that empower people. With 14 years of experience building open government tools, we are experts in handling government data.
Want to put people in touch with their representatives?
Our tools currently power tens of thousands of constituent contacts every week. Try out one of our existing solutions or work with us to build exactly what you need.
Need data gathered or cleaned to power your project?
OpenStates.org is powered by hundreds of custom scrapers that have been running for years. Let us work to bring that same expertise to your problems.
Have voters that need to be matched to their representatives or custom tools built for your organization's needs?
Tools work best when the developers building them understand the domain. Save time & money by having your tools built by people that have been working with legislative/government data for the past decade.
Open States is our flagship project, collecting & providing state legislative information for all 50 states, PR and DC.
Open States' API powers dozens of civic tech projects, while the site itself sees significant engagement, ranking #1 on various searches related to "find your legislators."
Tabs on Tallahassee was a custom built solution for tracking the Florida Legislature built for the Orlando Sentinel as part of a Knight News Challenge grant.
This application was built atop Open States and introduced custom Florida-specific features.
Bobsled is our cost-effective open source distributed task runner, used to run our various scrapers.
Bobsled lowered Open States' operational costs by hundreds of dollars a month, and can do the same for other projects that require recurring data scraping or processing.
State Automata is the main non-academic partner in the "Federalism Dashboard" project funded by the National Science Foundation.
We are collaborating closely with partners at UNC Charlotte, Kansas State University, University of Notre Dame, University of Rochester, and several others.
James brings fourteen years of civic technology expertise to his work at State Automata.
James has recently served as the principal engineer & architect for the Princeton Gerrymandering Project, and before that was Director of Technology at PBS. Prior to those roles James was one of the first engineers at Sunlight Foundation, eventually founding their state & local team as well as serving as CTO / Director of Sunlight Labs.
While at Sunlight he began the Open States project, which curates a freely available repository of state legislative information across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. James led the team that helped continue that work after the closure of Sunlight Labs, which led to the founding of State Automata in 2019 to support the project financially.
James holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Rochester Institute of Technology, with minors in Political Science and Public Policy.