Open by Default: Releasing My Campaign Platform

A new way to communicate on policies and legislation

Today, I’m releasing my campaign’s platform of issue positions as an open, public repository on GitHub.

Just over a month ago, I announced my campaign for Congress in New Jersey’s Second District. I spoke about the issues that drive me to run for public office, like jumpstarting the economy through infrastructure and education investments, reducing student loan debt, improving access to and affordability of quality healthcare, and the urgent need to address the threat of climate change.

I also wrote about how my professional background, as a software engineer working at Mapbox, and a public servant working as a Senior Advisor for Technology in President Obama’s White House, offers unique and valuable experience that we need in Congress.

Today’s release of my issue platform joins those two threads.

I believe the best ideas come from collaboration and iteration. Releasing my positions in this way makes it easy for others to submit suggestions and new proposals, and I look forward to seeing what others contribute.

These positions represent some of the best researched solutions for the most complex problems facing our nation, but I’m sure there are new ideas we’ve yet to discover. That’s why I want to have an open discussion. I am eager to engage earnestly with those who contribute their ideas.

How it Works

To make a contribution, just follow the link on any issue page on the campaign website — for example here’s my tech policy. Or, visit the ColeForCongress/issues repository on GitHub, and click edit on an issue file.

Open Content License

I’m also licensing these issue positions under a creative commons license (CC BY 4.0), which is a free license that permits others to use and adapt these statements for their own campaigns and projects. Why not start collaborating across campaigns on a shared agenda?

Collaborative technology like Git and GitHub along with open licensing have revolutionized the way we develop software and share information. Let’s bring those ideas to how we develop policies and legislation.

Open and Collaborative Policy-Making

Sharing my campaign platform is an exciting first step in running an open-by-default campaign. This isn’t a major technological breakthrough — it’s about thinking differently about how campaigns should communicate.

I will keep looking for ways to run an open campaign as we move forward, and I look forward to running my Congressional office in the same way, with open collaboration around legislation.

Please take some time to read through my platform and offer your suggestions. And if you like seeing a campaign run in the open, please make a donation now so we can keep it going!

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