Introducing Open Disclosure California


Super excited to announce that OpenCalifornia, a coalition of Code for America brigades, have submitted a grant proposal to the Knight News Challenge for Elections. Our goal is to build California’s first centralized repository for local campaign finance data. We want to destroy the obstacles that exist for residents, journalists and other interested parties to access vital data about the money that flows into local races.

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Oakland Mayoral Election Turnout: 1985-2014


With the official results of this year’s election in, it appears that Oakland saw its worst turnout for a November mayoral election since they started in 1990. But when looking at elections when a mayor was elected, it is the lowest turnout since the last non-rank choice voting election in 2006.

It’s worth noting the mayoral race was decided in the primary elections of 2002, 2004, and 2006, which saw far lower turnout than the November general elections of those same years.

Oakland turnout this election was just 47.4 percent, about 14 percent lower than the 2010 race where outgoing-mayor Jean Quan was elected. Quan managed to grab second place this time around, however, beating Rebecca Kaplan by about 1,000 votes (sounds familiar to 2010?).

When considering how rank choice voting works, where ballots are considered “exhausted” if none of the candidates chosen on that ballot survive the electoral process, only 34.9 percent of voters decided the election this year.

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Junkee Article About News Games


Check out this article published in Junkee and written by Koren Helbig looking into news games. The article mostly focuses on a Al Jazeera’s recent game called “Pirate Fishing.” I get quoted in there briefly talking about the difficulties of reconciling the demands of causal gamers verses hardcore gamers, and the difficultly of doing breaking news and mobile games.