Councilmember Hans Riemer Joins Free Law Founders
Montgomery County Councilmember Hans Riemer, the Council’s lead member for digital government, today was one of three local government leaders on civic technology to join the Free Law Founders (FLF) Foundation.
Along with Councillor Nadeem Mazen of Cambridge, Mass., and Traci Hughes, the director of the Office of Open Government for the District of Columbia, Councilmember Riemer joins the nationwide coalition seeking to upgrade how governments make laws and how residents access them in today’s digital world. They join current FLF officials from New York City, San Francisco, the District of Columbia and Chicago.
“I am looking forward to collaborating with the Free Law Founders,” said Councilmember Riemer. “This is an exciting time for elected officials who want to use public policy to strengthen the connection between technology and social change.”
Councilmember Riemer has been working to make Montgomery County government smarter and make its services more efficient. He authored the County’s Open Data Act of 2012, which is one of the country’s most thorough open data policies. The open data act has led to groundbreaking initiatives including the new open budget tool piloted by the County with Socrata, and a first-in-the-nation policy to publish all freedom of information requests as an open data set.
Free Law Founders is a nation-wide, collaborative effort open to all people who want to improve how laws and legislation are produced and presented to residents of American states and cities. The organization’s goal is to modernize how democracy works in the United States by creating open source tools and open data formats government workers need to get their jobs done efficiently, effectively and accountably.
At their keynote speech “Hack The Law” at the MIT Media Lab Legal Hackathon online conference in June 2014, FLF members Ben Kallos, a New York City Councilmember, and Mark Farrell, a San Francisco Supervisor, called on a nation of civic hackers to create a free and open source democracy platform for legislatures by next year.
The site they proposed would have free and open source tools for:
Commenting on legislation
Making it available over open API
Opening up the law online
Authenticating the law
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