Kin Lane

Adopta.Agency In Trump Administration

Adopta.Agency is an ongoing project for me. I'm still using the template as a basis for some custom open data work, but I wanted to pause for a moment and think about what Adopta.Agency means to me in a Trump administration. The need for Adopta.Agency is greater than ever. We need an army of civic-minded individuals to step in and help be stewards of public data. The current administration does not see value in making government more transparent, something that will trickle down to all levels of government, making what we do much more difficult.

To be honest, after the election I hit a pretty big low, regarding what I should be doing with open data at the federal level. Now in February I feel little more optimistic and I wanted to set a handful of Adopta.Agency goals for myself, and think more about the project in the Trump Administration. In the next couple of months I want to:

  • Target Two Datasets - I want to target two datasets in coming months, liberate from their current position on government servers, download and convert to YAML format, and publish as an Adopta.Agency project on Github.
  • API Adoption - In addition to rescuing open data sets from disappearing, I want to enable the reuse of APIs. You can't always save or replace the entire API, but indexing and mapping what is there will help any future projects in the same area.
  • Storytelling - There has been a lot going on when it comes to rescuing government data in the last 60 days. Much of it has been centered around climate data -- I want to tell more stories of work going on beyond just Adopta.Agency.

The Trump administration doesn't change the Adopta.Agency mission and purpose at all, it just raises the stakes. I still view the federal government as a partner in this, we can't do the hard work of making government more observable without it's involvement. However, it is a much more hostile and unfriendly environment right now, making it even more urgent that we adopt existing data sets, and give new life in a safer place until the right partners in the public and private sector can be found.

It is easy to get overwhelmed by this work, I do often. I'm going to start with identifying two data sets, download the Adopta.Agency blueprint, and get to work liberating the data, and publishing it to Github. I find the process therapeutical and it helps me process what is going on right now--I hope you will join in. I look forward to hearing your story.